Our Lady of Mercy College | Catholic Independent Girls School Parramatta

HSC High Achievers from the Class of 2017 Honoured

On Tuesday February 6, the College welcomed back  well over 50 Mercy Girls from the Class of 2017 for the HSC High Achievers Assembly.

The girls were presented with a certificate on stage in the Ailsa Mackinnon Community Centre, then had the chance to enjoy morning tea in the Convent Garden with each other and their former teachers.

Dux of 2017 Yamema Esber delivered an address at the assembly, providing inspiration for all Mercy Girls. 

Below are some extracts from her speech.

"My HSC experience proved to me that I am blessed – to have friends who cared for me, teachers who supported me and parents who shaped the person I am today. Stay strong, be respectful, be proud of yourself and I wish you all the very best of luck for the future."

"I have found that motivation and perseverance is about respecting yourself. The primary thought that enabled me to push myself throughout school life was that I could not be happy with myself if I slacked off and didn’t try my best. If there is no respect, honour and pride in what you do, whether it be work or learning, what you achieve in life is meaningless. An important part of maintaining personal integrity and pride, even when the going gets tough, is not just working hard to avoid failure or being the best. Rather, it’s about doing what you love (e.g. subjects or sports) and striving to achieve your personal best."

"An important part of self-respect is taking time for yourself. Even though working hard to achieve a goal is important, I am not telling you to lock yourself away in your room and never emerge. I won’t lie – I did not take as many study breaks as I probably should have but you need to know your limits. It is so important to relax and replenish. I picked up a sport at the beginning of Year 12 and most weeks I gave myself one school night off from studying. Relax, read, go to the movies, take a night off occasionally, watch TV or do something that makes you happy."

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"Mercy …not only bestows benefits, but receives and pardons again and again…"

Catherine McAuley

Mercy is defined as empathy or love that manifests itself in action that is practical and thoughtful, warm and open, respectful and enabling.


"Let charity then be our badge of honour…so that it may truly be said, there is in us but one heart and one soul in God."

Catherine McAuley

Compassion is a non-judgmental understanding of another’s need, which results in unselfish giving to meet that need.


"Never speak with contempt of any nation, profession, or class of people…"

Catherine McAuley

Justice is the treatment of each person with fairness in relation to the equality of all, and the maintenance of a balanced and fair relationship with self and all members of the community.


"Now and again bestow some praise."

Catherine McAuley

Dignity is the treatment of each person with respect and the recognition of their inherent value and worth.


"There is nothing of greater importance than the perfect discharge of our ordinary duties."

Catherine McAuley

Excellence is the state of achievement of the highest possible standards.


"The proof of love is deed."

Catherine McAuley

Hospitality is the creation of a welcoming, open, inclusive and respectful environment for all individuals, through word and deed.


"We can never say 'It is enough'."

Catherine McAuley

Stewardship is the grateful and responsible celebration of the sacred gifts God has given us to do the work he is calling us to do.


"If we are humble and sincere God will finish in us the work he has begun."

Catherine McAuley

Service is the exercising and ministry of leadership in order to make a positive difference in the lives of individuals and communities.