Our Lady of Mercy College | Catholic Independent Girls School Parramatta

Vanuatu High Commissioner and ex-student visits OLMC

Australia’s High Commissioner to Vanuatu, Ms Jenny Da Rin, returned to her Alma Mater on Thursday March 30, to speak with Year 11 students and meet with staff and the College Leadership Team.

Ms Da Rin is in Sydney as part of the government’s consultation program for the development of the new Foreign Policy White Paper. She joins over one hundred Heads of Mission who returned to Canberra for a two-day meeting to discuss how Australia can navigate its foreign, trade and development policies on the global stage.

Appointed as High Commissioner in November 2016, Ms Da Rin was a Senior Career Officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) prior to this appointment and before that, Assistant Secretary, Pacific Bilateral & New Zealand Branch. She also served as Senior Adviser to the Minister for Defence (2010) and Adviser to the Minister for Foreign Affairs (2009-10). She holds a Master of Laws from the Australian National University and is a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Ms Da Rin toured the College to get a sense of continuity and change at OLMC,before moving to the Ailsa Mackinnon Community Centre, to speak with Year 11 students. Jenny shared her path to her current role, including describing her final years of school and her path after she left in 1981, providing words of wisdom and encouragement to her fellow Mercy Girls.

Her time at OLMC Parramatta, according to Ms Da Rin, left a lasting impact on her life: “When I was at OLMC there were still Sisters of Mercy teaching at the school and living in the convent. One of the things that has stuck with me ever since was that Sister Janet (who was College Principal at the time) never spoke about a glass ceiling; we may have imposed on ourselves what we thought were the norms for girls but she did not ever do that. She thought we could do anything we wanted to do and she aimed to equip us with the skills necessary. I have come to recognise later in life that this is one of the key things I took away from my schooling here.”

Principal Stephen Walsh said the College was very honoured to have Ms Da Rin visit. “Her key advice to our young girls was to be confident, be capable, and not to take no for an answer and this is so important for girls to hear. It is clear that Jenny’s sense of taking action for the good of others, helping those most vulnerable was a key motivator in her path, as responding to the devastation of the 2004 Tsunami in Banda Aceh was a key watershed in her life. She is a true example in many ways of Mercy Excellence. Ms Da Rin highlighted the importance of being prepared to engage in regional and global issues. We have to acknowledge the significant role we play as a country in shaping global outcomes and Mercy Women have a responsibility to have a voice. I feel it is our role to encourage and build the skills and resilience of young Mercy Women to take their place in these forums as critical thinkers and to challenge the status quo – this is core of our Mercy tradition.”

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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.