Students at Our Lady of Mercy College in Heidelberg are making full use of their recently completed community centre, enjoying everything from netball to boxing, badminton and yoga.
Designed to support and strengthen OLMC’s highly regarded health and exercise program, the Nalleijerring Centre is not only a focus for the school’s structured sports program, it also offers the school’s approximately 1200 students a chance to engage in non-structured physical activities, OLMC principal Julie Ryan says.
“The centre enables the school to fully realise its vision of promoting student health, well-being and belonging,” Julie says.
Designed by award-winning education architects ClarkeHopkinsClarke, the centre includes multipurpose indoor courts with a large LCD screen for dance and aerobics choreography instruction,
an outdoor court, infinity wall, outdoor gym equipment, a classroom, staff offices as well as change facilities.
Beneath the centre, there’s parking and extensive storage for sports equipment, bikes for the Great Victorian Bike Ride and performing arts props.
With retractable seating for 700 and an overall seating capacity of 1300, the centre is also a gathering place for whole-of-school assemblies and masses, supported by state-of-the-art audio visual equipment and a mobile altar and stage.
A heritage wall at the entrance to the centre honours the site’s traditional owners, the Wurundjeri people; the Sisters of Mercy (who founded the school in 1910); and students.
Sports activities co-ordinator Eliza Leverett says students are enjoying the diversity of the activities program, and lunchtime sessions will extend to before and after school as participation grows.
“We want it to be a place to just hang out together and be active – we have totem tennis and there’s an infinity wall in the foyer where students can try new activities,” Eliza says.
The Nalleijerring Centre’s first key community event is a high tea on Saturday, September 10, for McAuley Community Services for Women.
Its official opening and blessing is planned for Mercy Day, September 21, following a smoking ceremony that was conducted by Wurundjeri elders on August 22.
Nalleijerring – a place to unite
OLMC principal Julie Ryan says the new centre will be known as the Nalleijerring Centre, a Woiworrung word meaning “a place to unite and gather”, used by the traditional owners of the local area, the Wurundjeri people. “This is a place our entire school community can gather. The Nalleijerring Centre gives our school a clearer sense of community, with a place we can gather together to celebrate and mark transitions in the life of our school.”
Our Lady Of Mercy College
- 52 Cape Street, Heidelberg
- 03 9459 2511