News & Events

Ex-students Join Panel for OLMC Parramatta Women in Leadership Forum

On Wednesday 26 May, Our Lady of Mercy College Parramatta held its fourth annual Women in Leadership Forum in the Ailsa Mackinnon Community Centre.

Students, staff and families were joined by alumnae and visitors from other schools at this inspirational evening. The event was a chance to hear from a panel of women which included OLMC ex-students Melanie Silva (VP, Managing Director for Google Australia and New Zealand, from the OLMC Class of 1994) and Dr Natalie Galea (Academic, Activist and Olympian, from the OLMC Class of 1991), along with Professor Deborah Richards (Department of Computing at Macquarie University) and Michelle Lee (Adventurer and Athlete).

The speakers imparted their perspectives on women and leadership, sharing their stories of successes, opportunities and challenges, with honestly and humility. OLMC Parramatta ex-students Melanie and Natalie reflected on their positive experiences at the College, both concluding that OLMC imbued in them a strong conviction that it was possible for them to achieve anything. “I walked out of OLMC thinking that I can do whatever I want to do,” said Melanie. She went on to implore those present to “stay curious, follow your passions and take some risks because you will always learn from them.” Natalie continued in a similar theme, highlighting that, whilst at OLMC, she felt a strong feeling of fierceness, that anything was possible, and that social justice could be achieved.

Professor Deborah Richards focussed on the qualities of leadership, describing good leaders as consultative: “They listen and respect other people’s goals, beliefs and values – understanding that each person is their own person with unique experiences. She shared her belief that being a leader means being someone who is worthy of being followed. Adventurer and Athlete Michelle Lee focused on the importance of being true to yourself and connecting emotionally with your goal: “by following my heart and being true to my compass, I found my purpose.”

Principal Lucie Farrugia said she was inspired by their messages of courage and service and how they resonated with our Mercy community: “This was an extraordinary night where all our speakers have inspired and ignited in us a sense of limitless possibilities.”

Established in 1889, OLMC Parramatta is a leading independent Catholic girls’ school which provides contemporary and innovative learning in the rich Mercy tradition. As one of the oldest Catholic Girls’ schools in NSW, our rich history of excellence inspires our young Mercy women to expand beyond what they know they can be and to lead with courage and act justly, making a difference in an ever-changing world.

Media Inquiries
:         Christine Pace
Communications Officer OLMC Parramatta

Bees and Pollinators - the building blocks of entire eco-systems

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Mercy Connect Melbourne Shopping Spree

It’s not often that the students at the Mercy Connect Dandenong Library Adult Literacy Class are surprised with something new. However, one Thursday afternoon in February this is exactly what happened. As the refugee students filtered into the library for their weekly class they were each given a number. There were puzzled looks on their faces. This was just one part of the surprise our Mercy Connect Melbourne Coordinator, Sr Mary Lewis, had in store for them...

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Sisters of Mercy Parramatta Take Action on Climate

'We will enjoy and celebrate Earth’s beauty and bounty and her many species. We will honour our duty to love and care for her and add to her well-being wherever possible.' (Chapter Statement)

The Sisters of Mercy Parramatta, colleagues, friends and students held a symbolic action on 11th March at 11am where they ‘sounded the alarm’ for the Earth’s climate.

The group did this by ringing the Convent bell, reflecting and praying as part of a global multi-faith Day of Action in which hundreds of faith communities across Australia and overseas called for more ambitious action on climate change. The lead local organisation is the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC), part of GreenFaith International.

The Day of Action centred on a Sacred People, Sacred Earth Statement signed by prominent religious leaders such as the Former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, and the senior Vatican spokesperson, Cardinal Turkson. Domestically, signatories include Bishop Philip Huggins, President of the National Council of Churches, as well as senior Buddhist, Jewish, Christian, Hindu and Muslim leaders.

Climate scientists are urging the strongest action possible to mitigate climate change, hence GreenFaith International’s call for wealthy countries to reduce their emissions to net zero by2030. Governments like Australia’s need to wake up out of their complacency.

The Leader of the Sisters of Mercy, Sister Mary Louise said, following Pope Francis’ thoughts, “as Christians we are called to accept the world aa a sacrament of communion. It is our humble conviction that the divine and the human meet in the slightest detail in the seamless garment of creation, in the last speck of dust of our planet.”

ARRCC is calling for higher emissions reduction targets to be submitted under the Paris Accord, in line with a net zero target by 2030. The organisation wants post-COVID recovery spending to be centred on low carbon jobs rather than fossil fuels such as gas, and for finance to be provided to the Green Climate Fund for developing countries.

For further information contact:
Margaret Hinchey RSM
040 770 8232

Thinking Big

As Mercy Works begins to wind down in Goroka and Mt.Hagen in the Papua New Guinea highlands, Sr Maryanne Kolkia, the PNG In-Country Coordinator for Mercy Works, reflects on her experience in the programs and projects she has started there.

Mercy Works has been working tirelessly in the Goroka/Mt.Hagen region for just over fourteen years now.

In that time, Maryanne has become the driving force behind various instruments of change such as the life and skills training programs. In addition to training in practical skills like farming and sewing, Maryanne also identified the need for training in Small to Medium Enterprise (SME). Her experience taught her that this was necessary to enhance the prospects for the trainees to start-up and successfully run their own businesses to sell the goods they produce.

Reflecting on what she has gained from this training program Maryanne says, ‘the training has given me the opportunity to find a way forward’, with plans to now buy shares in LNB Savings and Loans Society. She goes onto say that ‘the team behind her is the reason for the strength and hope she carries every day.’...

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