ABOUT TOY LIBRARIES AUSTRALIA

Toy Libraries Australia (TLA) began life as the Toy Libraries Association of Victoria (TLAV). It was formed in 1977 as the umbrella organisation of the five general Victorian toy libraries. TLAV changed its name to Toy Libraries Victoria in 2000, and to Toy Libraries Australia in 2012.

We are the peak body for over 260 toy libraries in Australia and are a non-profit incorporated association. We promote the importance and the value of play and aim to raise the profile of toy libraries in the community by publicising the role of toy libraries in promoting play, educating children and supporting families.

Encouragement, information and advice is offered to prospective and existing toy libraries, using accumulating knowledge and depth of experience. Networking of libraries is a key priority.

Membership fees fund the work of the association which is managed by a Committee who offer their services on a voluntary basis. The Committee meets bi-monthly and consists of employees and volunteers from a variety of toy libraries.

Toy Libraries Australia is proud to represent and support toy libraries from Frankston in Victoria, to Karratha in Western Australia, to Mackay in Queensland. 

 

MEMBER SERVICES

Toy Libraries Australia Staff

Toy Libraries Australia employs four part time staff, all offering their own level of support to our member toy libraries.

 

Debbie Williams – CEO

  • Supports development of all toy libraries

  • Overseas operations and drives innovation

  • Nurtures the growth and function of TLA

Sarah McCarty – East Coast Development Manager and Toy Well 

  • Supports development of toy libraries, primarily in the East Coast of Australia

  • Provide responsive advice and support to toy libraries

  • Supports the development of the Toy Well program

Louise Bell – WA Development Manager

  • Supports development of Western Australian toy libraries

  • Provide responsive advice and support to WA toy libraries

Helen Nicholson – Administration and Insurance Officer

  • Manages the day-to-day administration and finances of TLA

  • Provide responsive advice and support to toy libraries

  • Maintains TLA’s group insurance program and offer advice on any insurance related queries

Member Hub

We have compiled and created an extensive range of online documents and resources available exclusively for our member toy libraries. Hit the Member Hub button above and register for login details. Once approved, log in to the Member Hub to access the hub documents and videos.

Toy Community

Toy Libraries Australia also operates a wholesale toy buying group, Toy Community, available solely to its toy library members. Toy Community is a not-for-profit social enterprise that unites the buying power of not-for-profit  toy libraries across Australia to access toys at wholesale prices. We facilitate the purchase of a wide range of top quality toys suitable for toy libraries at prices much cheaper than online or retail and often hold group buys to enable toy libraries to purchase items that may otherwise be unavailable to buy due to high minimum order requirements etc.

To register your toy library or find out more, go to the Toy Community website or contact us at contact@toycommunity.com.au.

Insurance

Toy Libraries Australia also offers comprehensive insurance cover designed specifically for toy libraries, saving our members thousands of dollars and ensuring peace of mind for their toy libraries.

STRATEGY

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PARTNERS

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STAFF & COMMITTEE

Toy Libraries Australia is governed by a volunteer Committee of Management elected annually by its membership. Members of the TLA Committee enjoy being involved in their own toy libraries, as well as supporting the work of toy libraries across Australia.

Being a member of the committee is a great way to get more involved in the toy library community, share best practice operating information and support other toy libraries. There are a number of roles available with various short and long term projects.  If you are interested in being a member, we'd love to hear from you. Email us at info@toylibraries.org.au.

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Debbie Williams

CEO

When Debbie moved to Moonee Valley and found the commute to the Melbourne Community Toy Library too far, she decided to start a new toy library. Little did she know that the Moonee Valley Toy Library would take over her life and in 2 years grow to have 450 family members. Debbie has two young daughters, works part time as a strategy consultant and is on the Board of Monash Health. Her favourite toy is the mini micro scooter, so much so that she got a 2-wheel version for Mother's Day.

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Diane Bish

East Coast Development Manager and Toy Well

Diane joined the Bayside Toy Library (BTL) in 2019 as a volunteer. 

One day a week volunteering quickly became five during the 2020 pandemic when she assisted the BTL Manager to transform the Toy Library.  Her contribution was recognised by the TLA when she was awarded the 2020 Community Volunteer of the year.  Diane also joined the BTL Committee and took on the Secretarial position for a number of months as well as relief co-ordinator.  Following a move to Moonee Ponds, Diane joined the Collingwood Toy Library and continues to volunteer there on a regular basis

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Louise Bell

WA Development Officer

Louise is based in Perth working with WA toy libraries to support their sustainability and development. Her passions are in the area of families, play, and community. Louise brings a wealth of experience from many years of community based work as an OT, in project roles, and when parenting her young children. She has also enjoyed many volunteering roles across different community groups. Her first experience of toy libraries was when lifting the shed door of the Carnarvon Toy Library which had been in hibernation for many years. After wiping off the dust, Louise and her children were completely hooked.

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Catherine Zoppolato

President

Catherine has spent the past twelve years working at Kingston Toy Library. Developing her knowledge of working in a community organisation and supporting families with young children flourish. Over this time she has visited many toy libraries across the state to widen her experience and encourage the

passion and purpose of

toy libraries for all.

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Natalie Gilbertson

Vice president

Natalie’s passion for toy libraries started over a decade ago when she worked with CEO Debbie Williams to start the Moonee Valley Toy Library. 

Natalie focussed on grants and fundraising which led to growth of the toy library.

Natalie’s three boys loved the endless selection of ride-on toys when they were young. Whilst they now opt for their own two-wheeled bikes, Natalie remains passionate about the benefits of toy libraries and continues to volunteer as a committee member. 

 
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Ritu Gupta

Treasurer

Ritu joined Croydon Toy Library (now Maroondah Toy Library) in 2015. Her 5 year old has an insatiable appetite for trikes, ride-ons and wooden puzzles. And a toy library is the best fit for such varied demands (a win-win for mum and son!!). She is a qualified MBA and CFA Charter holder and has been working with an energy consultancy group for the last 7 years. She is very excited to volunteer her time as Treasurer for TLA. 

Amy Williams

Amy has been working as a toy library coordinator since 2004, nurturing the Collingwood Toy Library into the thriving community service it is today. She is passionate about supporting local families through the toy library and has a wide knowledge of toys for young children.

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Renae Barker

Renae has been President of Cockburn Toy Library since 2019, having joined the committee in 2017. Renae grew up around toy libraries. Her parents were involved in running Bridgetown toy library in the 1990s  which fuelled her love and passion for toy libraries. She is passionate about the value of play and making sure all families have access to a diverse range of high quality toys to enable them to facilitate play for their children. As President of Cockburn Toy Library she has seen the expansion of the toy library to be one of the largest in WA as well as the only WA based toy library to operate two branches.

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Kiara Jones

Kiara first started her Toy Library journey in 2019 as a Non-Member Volunteer in Geraldton. She is now their President. She’s a tad passionate about learning through play, quality early childhood education and building stronger communities. Kiara divides her time between coordinating both her local Toy Library, Playgroup and being a stay at home mum to little Zoey, age 2. Whilst navigating daily life with a DIDO husband. Kiara can’t wait to seek more opportunities for our play communities to learn and grow together.

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Heather Wright

Heather has worked at the City of Burnside Toy Library in South Australia since 2007. She is passionate about Toy Libraries and the importance of play to increase learning, life skills and development. Heather loves supporting Toy Libraries, learning and finding bigger and better ways of running toy libraries and supporting parents and their children.

Claire Kingdon

Claire has been a member of Hastings Toy Library on Mornington Peninsula and is currently the Coordinator of this small toy library. With a background in emergency services, she is a stay at home mum and has two young sons, Rory and Mitchell, who help contribute to her knowledge of anything related to Lego, fire trucks, diggers and trains. Claire is passionate about all things 'Toy Library' and gains much inspiration and enthusiasm from fellow committee members. Her favourite toys at the moment are the Australian-made wooden Tuzzles Puzzles, as they promote a variety of themes that appeal to young and old.

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Adelle Suitor

Adelle has been President of Brisbane South Toy Library since its creation in 2019.  A second generation toy library lover - being a member as a child. Adelle is a mum of 5 - 2 of my own and 3 step kids. As an Early Childhood Teacher, has a passion to help support parents and families connect with their children and move through the stages of childhood supporting their growth and development. Adelle loves discovering new toys that I her children and Toy Library families will love. 

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Helen Nicholson

Administration Officer

Helen has been president of Margaret River Toy Library for 3 since 2018 and is now based in the Pilbara region of WA.  Helen has a customer service background with recent experience in financial and business support services.  Helen became admin officer in 2021  Helen's work for Toy Libraries Australia has encouraged her to volunteer with more community organisations.