Our Lady of Mercy College | Catholic Independent Girls School Parramatta

Wellbeing Week 2016 promotes Positive Mental & Physical Health

Held this year in mid-June, the 2016 Wellbeing Week at OLMC saw students and staff join in a series of events and initiatives aimed at highlighting the importance of taking positive steps to cultivate good mental and physical health.

Inaugurated by the College in 2015, Wellbeing Week has quickly become a favourite week in the school calendar, with the College grounds transformed into a colourful, lively place, abuzz with activity and positivity. Senior student leaders took the lead, organising a range of activities including the Lunchtime Lip Sync Battle (where teacher groups competed against Year 12 groups), Zumba Classes, Ball Pits (designed to promote conversation between girls from different Year Groups), Handball, a Mario Cart Triathlon, wristbands and a host of craft activities (including making stress balls and mindfulness colouring in). A free breakfast provided by the Student Representative Council made for a good start to Wellbeing Week.

On one day, girls were allowed to wear their ‘winter woollies’ at school. The aim of this initiative was to remind the College community that by “rugging” up rather than turning on the heater, individuals can support the wellbeing of our world. Students embraced the initiative and hoodies, jumpers and oversized cardigans could be seen throughout the campus. Girls were asked to bring in a gold coin as part of this initiative and this was donated to Mercy Works.

According to Director of Pastoral Care, Anne-Maree Donnelly, the week was clearly a success: “It is so wonderful to see the girls’ faces light up when they join in fun activities. They take away from it an important message which will stay with them well beyond their schooling life – the importance of taking deliberate steps to foster and prioritise their own wellbeing.”

Staff were not forgotten in this important initiative. Assistant Pastoral Care Leader Kristen Sunner, capably supported by Amanda Farrugia (Assistant Years 11 and 12 Pastoral Leader) and Caroline Rowland (Year 12 Pastoral Leader), arranged pampering sessions as well as special lunches and morning teas, encouraging staff to also heed the message of the importance of looking after themselves.

Deputy Principal Marie Wood says Wellbeing Week is set to continue well into the future: “The College is committed to carrying on the vision of Catherine McAuley, the founder of the Sisters of Mercy, and the academic care of girls is central to a Mercy Education.”

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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.