Principal's Welcome

Dear Families,

Welcome to Our Lady of Mercy College, Parramatta. 

Our Lady of Mercy College Parramatta is a Christ-centred learning community established by the Sisters of Mercy in 1889. Founded on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, faithful to its Mercy tradition, OLMC is a Catholic independent girls’ school committed to excellence in education, respect for the dignity of each individual and the development of a strong sense of justice and social responsibility. The OLMC motto – Sub Tuum Praesidium – taken from a third century hymn, places the school community under the protection of Mary, Mother of God.


“Will go if sent”- This was the response of Mother Mary Clare Dunphy on June 20 1888, when asked to be the superior of a newly proposed community in the colony of NSW at Parramatta. Inspired by an Irish spirit of adventure, nine Sisters of Mercy, under the leadership of Mother Mary Clare Dunphy, left their homeland of Callan Ireland for Parramatta at ‘the ends of the earth,’ never to return. Sister Mary Alacoque Kavanagh was the founding Principal.

For 115 years, the leadership of OLMC was in the hands of seven successive Sisters of Mercy. This enabled the development of the strong Mercy heritage, traditions and values that remain such a vibrant part of the school mission and community today.

The passion of the Sisters who founded Our Lady of Mercy College Parramatta was to provide girls with a wide range of opportunities which could lead to work outside the home or further education, both radical ideas for young women of the late 19th century.

The world today is a vastly different place to the world of 1889 when the pioneering Sisters of Mercy arrived from Ireland to begin the Parramatta Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy and OLMC Parramatta. These foundational Sisters of Mercy, and the many more women who followed them, have inspired a community of ‘go do it women!’ Nothing should stand in the way of a Mercy woman making a difference for and with others.

In 2002, the Sisters of Mercy Parramatta formed an incorporated company where the governance of OLMC was entrusted to a Board of Directors who are responsible to the Trustees or “members’ of the Sisters of Mercy Parramatta. The College is now under the guidance of lay leadership.

Our vision today is to provide a contemporary Mercy Education that empowers young women to lead with courage and act justly, making a difference in whatever sphere of life they choose to move, in the spirit of Catherine McAuley. OLMC girls are equipped to be critical, creative and reflective thinkers in a caring and supportive environment where human dignity is valued and respected. We aim to continually support them to make a positive difference in our world, following in the footsteps of the many Mercy women who have gone before them.

A strong part of our culture is the focus on excellence and this is an important part of learning at OLMC. It involves trying to put quality into everything we do; excellence is about stepping outside our comfort zone, learning with a spirit of endeavour. Growth in learning is built, in effect, upon the foundations of have hard work, feedback and collaboration. It is about developing resilience from the necessary failures and mistakes we all make and from which we learn. We encourage our girls not to give up: learning requires taking risks in a supportive environment. We want our Mercy Girls to continue to learn, to work together and strive to be the very best people they can be.

I look forward to you joining us at OLMC where, through a Mercy education, our girls can ‘expand beyond what we know we can be’.



Stephen M Walsh
Principal