Our Lady of Mercy College
Our Lady of Mercy College Parramatta is an independent Catholic girls’ college in the Mercy Tradition. Through its integration across the curriculum of the Mercy values of compassion, justice, dignity, excellence, service, stewardship and hospitality, the College aims to provide an environment which fosters the spiritual, moral and intellectual growth of each student.
The Sisters of Mercy established OLMC at Parramatta in 1889. This followed an invitation from Cardinal Moran, the then Archbishop of Sydney, for the Sisters to come from Callan, Ireland to Parramatta to establish a Catholic school for girls.
The College began with 7 pupils on 7th January 1889 as one of the first ministries of the Sisters of Mercy. Mother M Alacoque Kavanagh was appointed the founding Principal, one of only nine Principals in the College's 125 year history. The College motto was and continues to be
Sub Tuum Praesidium:
Under your protection, we take refuge,
O Holy Mary Mother of God,
Despise not our prayers in our necessities
but deliver us from all dangers,
O ever glorious and blessed Virgin.
The Sisters of Mercy have made a major contribution to the education of young Catholic women in the western areas of Sydney, and throughout the State and overseas when the College was a boarding school.
The College was incorporated in 2002 and the Sisters of Mercy Parramatta appointed a Board of Directors to carry on the mission of mercy in the ministry of education at OLMC. The Board is responsible for the overall direction of the College and the day-to-day management is entrusted to the Principal and the College Executive who manage over 100 staff. The Congregation Leader of the Sisters of Mercy Parramatta appoints the Principal who reports to the Board on a regular basis. The College moved to lay leadership in 2004 when the first lay Principal, Mrs Kitty Guerin, was appointed. In 2013 Mr Stephen Walsh was appointed the first male Principal.
The opportunities provided to students entrusted to OLMC’s care are numerous with students encouraged to seek their individual paths. OLMC plays its part in the wider community in debating and public speaking, in the arts, on the sporting field, assisting in an aged care facility or visiting asylum seekers, as it gives students a greater depth of character and can enhance their physical and mental abilities. OLMC’s Pastoral Care program acknowledges and values the dignity of each individual. It emphasises the development of leadership skills, equipping students to take responsible roles in society and developing their awareness of the importance of social justice. Students are also encouraged to extend their abilities beyond the classroom by taking part in a range of co-curricular offerings in sport, in the creative and performing arts, and in a diversity of competitions.