From the Principal

We have probably all heard of our 'digital footprint' or our 'environmental footprint'; these 'footprints' are, most often, referring to the negative impact that we leave. As humanity our 'environmental footprint' is now at a seemingly critical depth, with all indications being that the world is warming at an alarming rate and, consequently, the pace of extinction (both flora and fauna) is accelerating into historically unprecedented and frightening territory. Similarly, we are prudently educating our students about the 'digital footprint' they are leaving, that trail of Internet searches, Facebook and social media announcements, X (formerly Twitter) feeds, Instagram images and Snapchat pictures which leave a trail, digital breadcrumbs if you like, that in some way begin to define you to those you've never met (for instance, future potential employers) who only need to google your name to discover something akin to an x-ray image of your life. Footprints are certainly unavoidable - take a walk on the beach and the one thing we leave are a set of prints - but we also can leave a different set of prints, a positive set of prints, which are our handprints. However 'negative' a footprint may be (whether digital or environmental) we can also leave a handprint - a deliberate, creative, helpful print - which can outweigh the footprints. After all, it is with our hands that we give help, that we provide comfort, that we create and invent, greet each other and wave goodbye; it is with our hands that we care, we share, and we celebrate - it is with our hands that we pull each other up. Although our footprints are unavoidable, our handprints are of our own choosing, our own making and, thankfully, are most often positive.

Last week, Mercy School students and staff attended the Frayne Festival, which this year was hosted by Mount Lilydale Mercy College, and the handprint they left - through their joy, their talent, their support, their creativity and their camaraderie - was amazingly positive.

The Festival sprang into life with exceptional performances in Voice Choir, Public Speaking and Debating. Mother Ursula Frayne would have been so impressed by the talents and the spirit of Mercy so openly displayed at the Festival which holds her name - because Ursula Frayne was all about 'handprints', that desire and action to leave the world in a better way than how you found it. Born Clara Mary Frayne in Dublin in 1817, it was to be Ursula's task to build the very first Mercy School in Australia, a feat she accomplished in 1846 when she opened the doors to just one student! Undaunted, by year's end, a hundred students were attending - and that is one of the most amazing handprints anyone could leave. Ursula's handprint was not extinguished with her passing in 1885, it was alive and well and full of Mercy last week. The Frayne Festival is not just a speech festival or a competition - it is a living embodiment and example of the positive handprints we are all called to leave in this life. I would encourage all to see more handprints and not to only dwell on the footprints of this life.

Congratulations to all staff and students. All teams performed exceptionally well with the debating team claiming victory.

The Sacrament of Confirmation
Congratulations to Tate Langford (Year 7) and Tayla Rayna (Year 11) for receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation last Sunday at St Brendan’s Church celebrated by Bishop Martin Ashe. This sacrament is often seen as a pivotal moment of spiritual growth.

Father’s Day Breakfast
This morning, September 1st we celebrated the annual Father’s Day breakfast. We thank the many fathers and significant others who attended this occasion with their sons and daughters.

Our guest speaker Dr Fabio Zambetta, RMIT University School of Computing Technologies (Associate Dean, Artificial Intelligence and Deputy Director, AI - Sir Lawrence Wackett Defence & Aerospace Centre), is a computer scientist with expertise in designing AI techniques in games, AR/VR, and real-time simulation. We thank Dr Zambetta very much for his time this morning. Throughout his thought-provoking presentation, the audience was highly engaged and his address on ‘The future of Computer Human Interaction’ was very well received by all present - we expect that question time would have lasted all day if it could have! We do hope that this visit represents the founding steps of our College's ongoing collaboration with RMIT in all areas of STEM, including computer science, AI and programming.

We wish all fathers and father-figures in our community a joyous father’s day this Sunday.

Year 12 Trial exams

One of the most wonderful and energising ways we can ensure our students flourish in their learning and in their lives is to encourage them to aim high, to be focussed, to have passion for whatever they do and to experience as many aspects of their school lives as possible.

Next week, all Unit 3/4 students will commence their trial exams in preparation for their final VCE examinations, which commence next month. I encourage all students to take these trial exams very seriously and encourage the support of all parents in ensuring their daughter’s commitment ito revision and preparation for these exams.

Units 3&4 Holiday classes

During the Term break a number of VCE classes will be run - it is the responsibility of the students to ensure that they are present.

Mary Farah
College Principal