Dear members of the Mount Lilydale Mercy community
Welcome one and all to Mercy Day. As I sit to write to you this morning it is 5.00am and I am preparing to venture to school to celebrate with our students and teachers. I continue to watch the detailed weather forecasts where rain is predicted and I am hoping we have done enough to prepare.
Please find below an extract from the address I gave to the College community this morning:
Over the last week we have been watching the weather with great anticipation, because unlike the past if we were to cancel today because of weather, there is no way of postponing it. The celebration is either today or not at all. At one stage I was fearful of thunder and lightning which would really mean being outside was not possible. Hopefully we have planned enough cover to cater all eventualities.
It has been three years since we celebrated Mercy Day together and, like you, we are keen to get back to celebrating the things that are important to us.
Some might think that Mercy Day is about raising as much money as possible for Mercy Works so that the Sisters of Mercy and those who work with them can do great work around the world. Now, while that is a great bi-product of the day, and a hugely important bi-product; it is not the essential reason for our celebration today.
Our reason to celebrate is far more central to who we are and why we walk this hill.
Imagine that you are the daughter of a fairly wealthy Irish landowner, you join the Sisters of Mercy and are the Mother Superior of the order in a convent at Carrick on Suir. You then volunteer to travel to New Zealand where you establish a new House and then on to Victoria in Australia to an establish a large convent in Mansfield, a thriving metropolis, where you are again elected Mother Superior.
When your term finishes you volunteer to go to the tiny country outpost in Lilydale where the Bishop and Parish Priest have invited you to start a school. It is November 1896. You are standing on top of the Hill, on the land that has just been purchased. You are dressed in your black habit, very little money in your pocket and the hot wind is blowing. Rourke’s Hill is a windy place and the property is undulating. You stand on the peak. You can see all the farms that run along Olinda Creek. You can see the Yarra River winding around the tiny hamlet of Yarra Glen. Behind you is the tiny St Patrick’s Church. A foundation stone is being placed on the ground and on the stone a convent will be built. You are Mother Mary Patrick Maguire and you are the first Mother Superior of the Lilydale convent and you plan to build Mount Lilydale Mercy College.
Today you all sit on Rourke’s Hill and the convent is the Mount St Joseph’s building.
Today we honour and give thanks to those that came before us.
Today we honour and thank all the sisters that gave their lives in working for us.
Today we celebrate the birth of our school.
Today we celebrate our birthday.
Today is our party, celebrate and have fun, and the money we raise is like the birthday present that we give to the Sisters.
On Wednesday a number of staff along with a few current Sisters of Mercy, I visited the Lilydale Cemetery, which sits on a smaller hill. We visited and prayed at the grave site of 24 Sisters of Mercy that have worked at this College at various times in our 126 years. I remember thinking that it gave me great pleasure that from those grave sites the Mercy cross on the Mercy Learning Centre could easily be seen and at night it would shine like a lighthouse as a beacon of hope. I am sure it would be a great delight and condolence to the Sisters as they lay in peace and rest after a lifetime of service.
We give thanks to all those who came before us, we celebrate them and the history of our College in Mercy education. We give thanks for each and every one of them.
In thinking about those sisters at the Lilydale Cemetery, I wanted to list them for you as naming them is honouring and remembering them:
Bernadette Matthews, Cyril McKendry, Gregory Brazel, Julian Calwell, Monica Taylor, Geradus Nordon, Angela Zanelli, Hilda Warburton, Leo Willis, De Sales Hayes, Vianney Finn, Anthony Starkie, Pauline Kirby, Aidan Connell, Julia Fahey, Sabrina Conway, Bernadette Naughton, Teresa Maher, Ursula Slater, Berchmans Murphy, Aloysius Gatliff, Clare Coakley, Columba Neville, Martha Hanrahan, Brigid Bradshaw, Patrick Maquire, Veronica Green, Gertrude Power, Magdalen Donnellan, Alacoque O’Shae, Margaret Mary Campbell and Ignatius Duffy.
We also visited and included the small group of Reparation Sisters (1949 – 1983) who are resting there. Founded by Mary Gertrude Langridge they were a contemplative order who prayed for the conversion and reparation of souls. We acknowledged:
Elizabeth Sprott, Rita Cortis, Margaret O’Dowd, Monica Brady, Gertrude Costa, Angela Steggall, Mary Gertrude Langridge and Patricia Green.
As it is our celebration of Mercy at the grave sites we prayed the “Suscipe”
My God, I am yours for time and eternity.
I am yours forever
Teach me to cast myself entirely
into the arms of your loving Providence
with a lively, unbounded confidence
in your compassionate, tender pity.
Grant, O most merciful Redeemer,
that whatever you ordain or permit
may be acceptable to me.
Take from my heart all painful anxiety:
Let nothing sadden me but sin,
nothing delight me
but the hope of coming to the possession
of You my God and my all,
in your everlasting kingdom. Amen
This is a beautiful prayer and gives us strength whenever we start to focus on the difficulty of life. Hopefully it will continue to provide strength.
Happy Mercy Day to each and every one of you. An article about the day will be included in our next newsletter in Term 4.
Yesterday, Thursday, we were shocked to hear of the passing of a colleague in Mr Neil Magree. Neil was a casual relief teacher who has worked at MLMC since 2016 and he worked so much for us that he rarely worked anywhere else. He worked at our campus on Wednesday, the day of his passing. Neil passed in his sleep Wednesday night. Neil was a lovely and caring man who was always ready and welcoming of a chat. We will all miss him deeply.
Let us pray for the repose of Neil’s soul and may he rest in peace.
In the spirit of Catherine, I wish you all every blessing as we move into the holidays and thank you for all your support over this term.
Philip A Morison
On 24 September each year, the feast of Our Lady of Mercy is celebrated throughout the world by Sisters of Mercy, a religious order of women founded by Catherine McAuley in Dublin, Ireland, in 1831. The sad plight of the young, unemployed and homeless girls at risk in Dublin haunted Catherine and when she inherited a substantial sum of money on the death of her 'adopted' parents, she decided to use it to build what we could call today a refuge for women and children. She called it a 'House of Mercy' and it was opened on the 24 September 1827.
May the God of strength be with us, holding us in strong-fingered hands, and may we be the sacrament of God's strength to those whose hands we hold.
May the God of peace be with us, stilling our hearts when they hammer with fear or doubt or confusion; and may the warm mantle of God's peace cover those who are troubled or anxious.
May the God of dreams be with us.
With all the dreamers who have gone before us, like Catherine McAuley, may we come to trust in God's dream for us.
May we open ourselves to become what God envisioned at our birth and may we have the courage to be the reflection of God that we are.
Adapted from Mercy International Association Prayers for Remembrance Day
Where does time go? Another term is gone and school holidays are upon us again. With Year 12 students soon to finish their classes in early Term 4, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our student leaders for their energy and commitment to our wonderful community.
As one door closes another opens for our next group of student leaders. After writing applications, interviews, voting and speeches, students will be contacted during the holidays to inform them if they have been successful or not in joining the 2023 Student Leadership Team as a Prefect or Captain. I wish all applicants well.
As Term 4 begins, so does the wearing of summer uniform. Our biggest concern is the amount of physical growth that has taken place over the last two terms. Please ask your child to try on their summer dresses over the break to ensure hem lines are at the knee. The last thing we wish to engage in is conversations about uniform issues that should not exist.
Term 4 also marks the return of students being required to wear hats at recess and lunchtime. As a SunSmart school, the wearing of hats is compulsory.
Finally, best wishes to our Year 10 students going on the Central Australia and Top End tour and the Tasmania tour. An extra special thank you to the staff who are giving up a substantial amount of their holiday to make these tours possible.
Parents and guardians are reminded that they and their children have access to services during the school holidays. Details are included in the attached Youth Resource Card.
Over the past few weeks members of the MLMC community have come together to celebrate our Year 11 students becoming young adults at the Debutante and Presentation Balls.
This year the College offered two traditional Debutante Balls, held on Saturday 27 August and Friday 2 September, as well as a Presentation Ball held on Saturday 3 September. We saw 164 students participate over the three evenings at The Centre in Ivanhoe. It was fantastic to see our students looking and feeling their best while making the most of this once in a lifetime experience.
The nights were filled with excitement, anticipation and plenty of nerves as the Year 11 students took to the dancefloor to show off everything they had learned in the seven weeks of dance rehearsals with Sassi Dance studio.
Well done and thank you to everyone who helped bring these nights together and create wonderful memories for our students and their families.
Here are reflections from some of the students who took part:
I attended both Deb Balls. Both nights were just fantastic. It was far more fun than I anticipated, especially being around a good, supportive group of people which made it that little bit more special.
— Mitchell Mazzarella (Year 11 Jade)
It was absolutely an amazing day and everything went smoothly. Having a non-traditional theme, it allowed every participant to express and feel safe to be their true selves, and enjoy the essence of a normal deb night without the overbearing sense of tradition. As a ‘pioneer’ of this new form of Debutante Balls, I hope this new tradition continues.
— Elliot Atkinson (Year 11 Gold)
I attended the Debutante Ball on Saturday 27 August and it was one of the most beautiful nights I could have ever asked for. Everything was so well organised and it was such a fun night to spend with my friends and family. I will cherish the memory forever.
— Elle Enright (Year 11 Gold)
The Deb was a fantastic experience. I was pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable it was. We all had a great time.
— Thomas Hobley (Year 11 Jade)
I attended the Debutante Ball, and I couldn't be happier with the night I had. Regardless of how close you are with someone, everyone was so incredibly supportive and always giving compliments to one another; making each other smile and feel confident throughout the evening. I had such a fun time dancing and spending time with my family and peers. It was such an enjoyable evening and I wish I could do it all again.
— Elena Atanasovski (Year 11 Bronze)
From Monday 10 October, the College’s end of year Visual Arts Exhibition will be open to all students on campus in McAuley Hall for the first time in two years. The exhibition will feature work from students in Years 7 to 12 in a variety of subjects including Filmmaking, Character Design, Photography, Sculpture, Printmaking, Architecture, Design and Painting.
It will also highlight some fantastic work from Year 12 Studio Arts and Visual Communication Design students. Awards recognising the outstanding efforts of Year 12 students will be presented during the exhibition. Year 12 Media work will not be screened in their entirety however there will be an Oscars-style Media Awards presentation in the Lecture Theatre after the exhibition.
After the last two years of hosting the Visual Art Exhibition online, it is an exciting opportunity for the staff and students in Visual Arts to showcase their work in person. The exhibition will be open for parents to view on Thursday 13 October from 6.00pm for parents of Year 12 students, and from 6.30pm for all other parents and community members.
Much like the last few years, this year has not been without its challenges and the Visual Arts Faculty are very proud of the range of work that is on display and the perseverance that the students have shown this year.
Our Year 7 Science students have been busy taking part in monitoring the health of our local Olinda Creek during field work focusing on the structure and health of this local ecosystems. They have been examining a range of physical, chemical and biological parameters and recording their data for Melbourne Water as part of the River Detectives waterway monitoring program.
Our MLMC scientists have been involved in this fieldwork for a number of years with our students' contributions adding valuable input to the database mapping the health of waterways around the state.
Here is a reflection by Holly O'Toole (Year 7 Red) on the excursion:
My class walked down to Olinda Creek in Lilydale so that we could conduct some water testing for our Year 7 Science class. We were put into five groups and we were required to investigate and observe the different surrounding areas of Olinda Creek to answer a variety of questions from examining living and non-living things to testing water levels. We had to observe plants, animals, temperature and even keep in mind all the things that were put there by humans and all the things that grew naturally. It involved testing the water pH, observing the things that were around us and recording what we observed within the environment. Following our hands-on practical experience, we put together all the information that we discovered and then used it to complete our common assessment task questions. It was a great opportunity to learn about a local landmark.
The Frayne House Celebration Day held on Tuesday 13 September was a great way to come together as a House to celebrate our participation and efforts throughout the year. It was a great day to also deepen our knowledge and understanding of Sister Ursula Frayne, who the House is named after.
The lunchtime celebration consisted of a sausage sizzle as well as a short presentation about Frayne House and there were vouchers to be won, which were decided through a live online wheel with everyone's names on it. The students enjoyed celebrating their House, in a fun and interactive environment.
This was the last House Celebration Day of the year.
The Intermediate VCAL students have been busy supporting local primary schools in recent weeks as a part of their Community Outreach Program. This year St Joseph's Primary School in Yarra Junction, Yarra Glen Primary School and Macclesfield Primary School each were gracious enough to support the program.
The number of projects that were completed at the three schools was truly amazing. Just to list a few of the tasks our students worked on:
MLMC students acted as mentors to the younger students and formed some great working teams. The program was such a success that we intend to continue to build relationships with local schools and support their ideas to create new and exciting spaces around their schools. The students at the primary schools have now taken ownership of these new spaces and we look forward to watching them develop overtime.
Well done to all the students involved, and a big thanks to the supporting staff attending on these terrific days and enabling these projects to happen.
Our 2020 McAuley Park Reserve Cabernet was recently launched with an evening that was a celebration of Music, Art, Agriculture and Horticulture and VET Hospitality students' work. It was fantastic to come together as a community with these students, their families and MLMC staff on Friday 2 September to celebrate the talents and hard work of our students.
The 2020 McAuley Park wine, made under the careful guidance of Mr Tim Thompson, has been crafted during most unprecedented times. The last two years have seen our programs come across a number of challenges due to COVID-19. Despite these challenges, our committed students continued to develop their skills and knowledge about viticulture and wine making which resulted in this superb 2020 vintage.
The 2020 McAuley Park Reserve Cabernet label was created by our Year 9 Arts students who produced a range of beautiful designs under the guidance of Mrs Melinda Pollock which were all on display during the evening. The winning label, present on all the bottles for our visitors to enjoy, was designed by Will Ault (Year 9 Bronze).
The food during the evening was prepared by our VET Hospitality students under the guidance of Mrs Kristy Brown. Our students worked tirelessly to prepare and serve a range of beautifully crafted savoury and sweet treats for all the visitors to enjoy. These extremely professional students have been developing strong skills over the last few months and it was a pleasure to experience their culinary delights.
Our MLMC Band, under the direction of Mr Gus Garces, played great music during the evening and filled Centennial Hall with beautifully uplifting sounds. The music was enjoyed by all throughout the night and the quality of the sound was a credit of the hard work, commitment and talent of the students.
It was great to come together and celebrate the variety of programs that MLMC has to offer.
If you are a Year 11 student entering Year 12 in 2023, you may be eligible to receive the Old Collegians’ scholarship!
This scholarship is awarded to a Year 11 student who is involved in College activities, enjoys helping others and takes part in social justice activities. The scholarship will cover full tuition fees for ONE year. If you are interested in applying please click HERE for the application form (also downloadable below) and for the selection criteria.
Applications close at 5.00pm on Monday 10 October 2022.
Pictured are our 2022 scholarship recipients Jeremy Conte, Grace George and Perry Leane.
Congratulations to Ellen Bradley (Year 11 Blue) who has been selected in the 2022/23 Victorian Metro Under-19 female emerging players squad. She has been training with the squad since July and will begin playing matches for Vic Metro these school holidays. Best wishes, Ellen.
If you have any student achievements, please email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Students from Year 7 Green have been raising the national flags each school day on the College’s flagpoles outside Dublin House. Australian National Flag Day, proclaimed in 1996 as a national day, celebrates the first time the flag was flown on 3 September 1901. On that day the Prime Minister, Edmund Barton, announced the winners of a competition to design a flag for Australia.
To raise awareness about the day a few students from Year 7 Green visited the Year 10 Jade homeroom (pictured above) and the Australian flag was displayed and information was shared about the symbolism in the flag. As a mark of mourning and respect for Queen Elizabeth II, the flags have been flown at half mast this week.
Tickets are now on sale for the Class of 1992 and Class of 2002 reunions.
Our Old Collegians will reunite at the College on Friday 21 October with tickets costing $50 each. Tours of the College will be starting from 5.00pm and the event will include canapes, drinks, photo exhibition, DJ and plenty more.
When: Friday 21 October
Time: 5.30-11.00pm (College tours start from 5.00pm)
Tickets: $50 (partners welcome). Visit trybooking.com/CCKKT or click HERE to purchase tickets.
We look forward to seeing you there!