News & Events

Join in a Discussion about Mercy Global Presence Theme 'Cosmos'

Valda Dickinson is holding an online meeting using Zoom to discuss the resources made available to us on the September theme: 'Cosmos/Cosmology'.

The meeting will take place at 5pm on Wednesday December 4.

All are welcome!

To join:
Go to: https://zoom.us/j/5339386598 and follow the prompts

Topic: Mercy Global Presence 'Cosmos/Cosmology' Resources (September 2019)

After reflecting on the various resources...

  • What affirms your point of view?
  • What is moving or challenging you ? 
  • What do you disagree with?
  • Anything else you wish to raise.

Parramatta Women’s Community Shelter named Mercy Tree Beneficiary for 2nd year

For the first time in the history of the OLMC Parramatta Mercy Tree, the decision has been made to support the same beneficiary for two years in a row. Women’s Community Shelters (WCS), the 2018/2019 Mercy Tree beneficiary, will be opening a women’s shelter in Parramatta in the coming months and funds raised from Mercy Tree donations from this year’s annual appeal will go to this shelter.

Principal Stephen Walsh says this cause has really struck a chord with our community and our hearts are committed to seeing this important initiative become a success: “We know our community will get behind the 2019/2020 campaign to ensure the shelter launches and operates at its full potential to help as many families as possible.”

“By supporting this cause, we are carrying on the legacy of the Sisters of Mercy and Catherine McAuley, following in the footsteps of the ‘walking nuns’ who went out to the disadvantaged in Parramatta to bring practical support and hope. We have the chance help change the lives of the Parramatta’s most vulnerable women and children,” says College Principal Stephen Walsh.

Annabelle Daniels, CEO Women’s Community Shelters (WCS), says her team is incredibly excited to be on the countdown to the opening our new Parramatta Shelter, with recruitment of shelter staff underway:” Very soon we’ll open our doors to more women and children who need crisis accommodation.”

WCS works with local communities to provide more safe havens for women and their children. WCS offers vulnerable women at risk of homelessness or domestic violence shelter, active case management, support, dignity, self-esteem and a chance to start anew, through the establishment, operation and/or supervision and support of Women’s Community Shelters and transitional housing.

The Mercy Tree is a social justice initiative of the College which symbolises the growth of commitment to Mercy Values in the students at OLMC and our broader community. Standing as a burst of green in the College’s Brigid Shelly courtyard, at approximately 4 metres tall, the Chinese Elm tree has blossomed since it was first blessed and planted in 2012. Part of the donations to the Mercy Tree Gift Fund are given to charitable causes nominated by the fund’s Trustee. The remainder is invested to provide a secure and ongoing revenue stream to support social justice programs.

Social Justice Tradition Shines Through on Mercy Day in 130th Anniversary Year

Friday 20 September 2019 marked Mercy Day in the 130th anniversary year of Our Lady of Mercy College Parramatta. The day, which is a much-loved celebration of the College’s rich Mercy tradition, occurs annually on the Friday closest to the Feast of Our Lady of Mercy on 24 September.

Celebrations commenced with a Mass in the Alisa Mackinnon Community Centre which was attended by students, staff, Board Members, Sisters of Mercy, past Principals of the College, representatives from the Parents and Friends Association and the Alumnae as well as other special guests. The College community was privileged to have Most Reverend Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv DD celebrate the Mass, together with College Chaplain Fr Walter Fogarty.

Bishop Vincent encouraged all in the community to “fight the good fight for God's justice” while Sister Mary- Louise Petro, Congregation Leader of the Sisters of Mercy Parramatta, invited us to each see our name as Mercy and to reflect on what that means for us.

Principal Stephen Walsh called on all present to follow in the footsteps of Jesus and Catherine McAuley: "We must stand up and make our voices heard for those who cannot speak and who are silenced by their situation. If we do not respond and speak out on their behalf and stand with them in solidarity, then we are not being true to living the Gospel nor our Mercy Values."

“Our College motto, Sub Tum Praesdium, which means under the protection of Mary, Mother of God, provides us with both inspiration and hope. Mary fully committed herself to the love of God by accepting His will to be the mother of Jesus. As a Mercy school and as Mercy people, we are called to demonstrate our love of God and neighbour through our actions,” said Principal Stephen Walsh.

Following the Mass was a day of vibrant celebrations where Mercy Girls, in their Houses, embraced the spirit of this important day by raising funds for Mercy Works programs through a range of fun and innovative games and initiatives.

National Redress Scheme

Redress is an alternative to seeking compensation through the courts.


The National Redress Scheme can provide three things:
  • access to counselling;
  • a payment; and
  • a direct personal response from the institution (e.g. an apology) for people who want it.
The scheme started on 1 July 2018 and will run for 10 years.

The Sisters of Mercy Parramatta have joined the Scheme. This means people who were abused in the care of the Sisters of Mercy Parramatta can apply to the Scheme for redress.

People can apply now using an online or paper form.

Free and confidential Redress Support Services are available throughout the process.

They can help explain the Scheme and who can apply.

For more information, visit www.nationalredress.gov.au or call the National Redress Scheme line on 1800 737 377.

CRA Supports an Increase in Newstart Payments and Urges No Delay

'We will open our hearts to the cries of the poor...' (Chapter Statement) 

Catholic Religious Australia (CRA), of which Sisters of Mercy Parramatta Congregation is a member, urges the Government to heed the research findings from a wide range of social service specialists, peak bodies and industry associations, in relation to the shortcomings of Newstart and the Payment Integrity Bill.

CRA commends the ­research released this month by the Australian National University’s Centre for Social ­Research which was joined by over 20 Catholic social service providers from across Australia. It identified that levels of poverty and financial stress have increased significantly among Newstart recipients over the past 25 years.

The Australian Council of Social Service’s 2019 submission to the Senate Community Affairs Committee identifies $75 per week with indexation, as an urgent ‘catch-up increase’ to the base rate of Newstart – an extra $10.71 a day.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ figures show that the cost of essentials such as housing, utilities and food have increased much more rapidly than CPI.

The Business Council of Australia’s 2012 submission to the Senate Inquiry into the Adequacy of the Allowance Payment System for Jobseekers, stated that ‘The rate of the Newstart Allowance for jobseekers …may now be so low as to represent a barrier to employment.’

CRA supports an increase of at least $75 per week for all recipients of Newstart; that payments be indexed against wages and price increases commensurate with community standards and the cost of living; and that the Government not delay Newstart payments, as this may force people to exhaust modest savings during the wait-time for Newstart payments.

“CRA’s commitment to human dignity means we are concerned for the wellbeing of all people who rely on Newstart and believe that the requests for a weekly increase of $75 and a more appropriate indexing system for payments, are vital to reduce poverty and enable people who receive income support to live with dignity,” said CRA President, Peter Carroll FMS.

CRA strongly supports the National Council of St Vincent de Paul Society’s concerns over the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Payment Integrity) Bill 2017 which will exacerbate the conditions in which people enter into poverty and long-term unemployment. National Council CEO, Mr Toby O’Connor, recently said, ”The longer people are on Newstart, the more entrenched their poverty becomes. The Payment Integrity Bill is going to make things even tougher.

“In light of the federal budget surplus announced earlier this month, we urge the Government to use the research findings and submissions of various experts to inform their decision-making for the long-term benefit of citizens and the preservation of human dignity.” said Br Peter.

Media Enquiries: Sylvia MacRitchie-Hook | E: comms@catholicreligious.org.au | M: 0410 644 356


Download a copy of this media release