Mercy Vine

Term 3, Issue No. 2 - 16 August 2019

College Leadership

Catherine McAuley Statue


Dear parents, caregivers, staff and, students of the Mercedes College community,
Earlier this week we unveiled and blessed our new Catherine McAuley statue.

Catherine stands proudly at the bottom of our Library Courtyard Terraces and looks across the school towards Strathspey and the Rose Garden.

Catherine’s statue is a wonderful addition to our College grounds, providing a constant and tangible reminder of Catherine, the person - her strength of character, her unbending perseverance, her welcome and commitment to the marginalised, the depths of her Mercy and her faith in God. Catherine’s statue is also a reminder of her values and educational philosophy. The Mercy ethos remains strong within our College Community and is brought to life as we live out the Mercy Keys of Mutual Respect, Integrity, Responsibility, Loyalty, Compassion and Justice in our everyday relationships with those we encounter.

On behalf of the College community, I would like to thank the sculptors from Hullabaloo Studio for the wonder of her creation and acknowledge everyone involved in bringing this statue of Catherine into our school, especially our generous benefactors, the Ianniello and Lanzilli families and past staff member, Dr Michael Fitzgerald. Thanks also to our past Principal, Mr Peter Daw, for commissioning Catherine’s statue.

Below is what I said to the student and staff gathering at the blessing of Catherine’s statue on Tuesday morning.

Catherine McAuley was a woman of great strength, determination and perseverance. Catherine heard the cries of the oppressed in her society, she had a deep understanding of the dignity of all humans, and she was called to action for and with the marginalised. Through her actions, she inspired others to follow in her footsteps. Our community continues Catherine’s work – ours are eyes through which she sees and the hands through which she works.

From today on, Catherine will stand here in the centre of our College. Her silent presence in the midst of our community will be a constant reminder for us:

• To listen: and find the strength to hear the Cry of the Poor, the Cry of the Earth, the Cry of Mercy, the Cry of the Faithful and the Cry of our Church
• To speak: to find the courage to speak out of the silence ourselves and to seek opportunities to help those with no voice to speak their silence
• To act: with Justice, Compassion, Integrity, Loyalty, Responsibility and Mutual Respect, and with a hospitality that recognises the dignity of all and our stewardship of our shared home.

Thank you to the Sisters of Mercy who attended the blessing. 

Australasian Mercy Secondary Schools Association Conference

Last week I was very fortunate to attend the Australian Mercy Secondary Schools Association (AMSSA) Conference held at Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College in Sydney. The Conference, entitled “Speaking the Silence”, challenged those attending to hear the cry of the poor and afflicted in our communities. Many, particularly those at the margins of our society, suffer in silence and their plight often remains ‘unheard’ due to the ignorance and/or indifference of those who could and should speak up and take action.

At the conference attendees were challenged to hear the silent cry, to take up Catherine’s challenge, to walk with those in need and to engage with how our Mercy Schools, through the development of faith, education and positive relationships, can help transform our society and inspire a commitment to justice for all.
The keynote addresses were truly inspirational.

• Sr Angela Reed (MIA Global Action Coordinator, United Nations) spoke about her work and advocacy in the area of Human Trafficking and introduced us to Mely Lenario a Filipino trafficking Survivor Advocate. Mely’s was a story of true courage, persistence and determination.
• Mrs Mary McAleese (Former President of Ireland) who traced her success in law, journalism and politics back to her Mercy beginnings. She demonstrated a tremendous passion and advocacy for faith and bringing a voice to the marginalised in the Church and the world
• Mr Phil Glendenning (Director of the Edmund Rice Centre) who spoke passionately of his work in human rights, reconciliation and on raising awareness of the impact of climate change on the marginalised. Phil received the Order of Australia Award for significant service to the community as an advocate for human rights and education in 2017. 

All of these speakers highlighted the importance of recognising when to be silent, when to listen to the silence and when to speak out of the silence to challenge the injustices of our world.

The conference aimed at inspiring new thinking, but it was also an opportunity to reflect upon the wonderful works that our Mercy Schools and Colleges throughout Australasia already engage in. These works allow us, as Mercedes community members, to open our hearts in the spirit of Mercy, to further the vision of Catherine McAuley and to live out our experience of Jesus.

Academic and Co-Curricular Events

We know that Mercedes is a very busy place and the last few weeks have been no exception.

From an academic perspective, our Junior School Learning Conferences, Middle and Senior School Learning Reviews and Year 10 SACE/IB Parent Information Evening were terrific opportunities for timely communication between parents and staff regarding student progress and future pathways.

Our students have been busy on the co-curricular front too. Congratulations to the students and staff involved in our recent Media Festival Week, and to all of the students engaged in knockout sport across boys and girls soccer, girls football and girls basketball. We continue to achieve outstanding results based firmly on the commitment and efforts of our students and staff.

This week has been Catholic School Open Week. We opened our school on Wednesday through one of our regular Orientation Walks, hosting 35 families. These walks continue to be a valuable means of promoting and showcasing our College to prospective new students and parents.

You may also have seen a wonderful write up on our Junior School Entrepreneurial Education project in the South Australian Catholic Schools lift out in The Advertiser on Saturday 3 August. This lift out promoted some of the exciting initiatives taking place in Catholic Schools in South Australia. It was fitting that our young Junior School entrepreneurs were highlighted, in a story entitled ‘Waste not, want not’, for the outstanding work they are doing to turn the Junior School organic waste into a valuable commodity for the local community.

There are many other activities coming up including our Intercollegiate games against St Ignatius' College and our Converge Music Concert. Please keep an eye out for details of these and other upcoming events via our College calendar and website.

Paul Wadsworth
Interim Principal

Important Dates

Friday 16 August 
Winter Sports, Leadership and Co-curricular Photos

Monday 19 August 
Year 12 IB Language Acquisition Oral Exams

Tuesday 20 August
Year 12 IB Language Acquisition Oral Exams

Wednesday 21 August
Year 12 IB Language Acquisition Oral Exams

Intercollegiate Cross Country
4:00pm | St Ignatius' College

Friday 23 August 
9JH & 9GB Class Mass

Book Week Assembly
9:00am | Junior School Hall 

Intercollegiate Table Tennis
4:00pm | St Ignatius' College

Monday 26 August 
Year 12 SACE Drama Production Week

Tuesday 27 August 
Year 8 Immunisations

Wednesday 28 August 
Year 6 Canberra Trip Parent Information Night 
6:00pm | Mercy Lecture Theatre

Thursday 29 August 
Father's Day Coffee Morning
7:45am | Mercedes Cafe

Girls Winter Sport Presentation Evening 
6:00pm | Gleeson Hall

Friday 30 August 
Student Free Day

Intercollegiate Debating
5:45pm | St Ignatius' College

Saturday 31 August 
Intercollegiate Games
St Ignatius' College

Full Calendar > 

Second Hand Uniform Shop Change of Opening Times

The Second Hand Uniform Shop is now open during school terms on:

Monday              2.30pm – 4.00pm
Wednesday        8.00am – 9.00am

It is no longer open on Friday mornings.


We are committed to ensuring the Mercy Vine is an easy and pleasant experience for our readers. Please click here to provide us with your feedback.