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  • Writer's pictureLou Bell

Toy Libraries creating opportunities for economic and social participation across Australia.

TLA is very excited to be commencing a project funded by the Australian Government through the Strong and Resilient Communities (SARC)- Inclusive Communities Grant Program.

This project will build upon knowledge and experience from toy libraries who have had success with partnering with local schools to provide opportunities to students with disabilities to volunteer in the toy library. Northam Toy Library in WA’s Avon Valley used previous funding from the DSS-TLA Diversity and Inclusion grants to engage with students from their local high school. The reported benefits from the students, school and toy library became the catalyst for the development of this national project.

The Toy Library volunteering project will run for 12months and give people with disabilities and migrant women experiencing isolation access to meaningful work experience in 20 pilot site toy libraries across Australia.

Our toy libraries largely rely on volunteer hours for the many tasks required to provide a fun, safe and sustainable toy library for their community.  Through our annual survey, member toy libraries have told us that the number one challenge facing toy libraries is volunteers. The project will work in two ways to address this challenge

  • Our TLA SARC volunteering project team will work with pilot sites to develop the resources and clear processes needed to establish and support people with disabilities and migrant women to successfully volunteer in the toy library. These resources and processes will be developed with the goal of the program being replicable by other toy libraries.

  • The project will be informed further by support from volunteering consultants, Volunteer Management Services. They will be connecting with TLA member toy libraries to understand what the current barriers and enablers are to attracting and retaining community volunteers. They will provide advice which will inform the resources and supports to be developed by our project team.

The TLA volunteering project team has recently been appointed. Adelle Suitor, Catherine Zoppolato and Behishta Anwar bring a wealth of skills, knowledge and passion to the project to ensure that our toy libraries will be supported to create meaningful and sustainable opportunities for people.


We are currently seeking expressions of interest from member toy libraries who would like to be one of the pilot sites to establish regular volunteering opportunities for either young people with disabilities OR migrant women. Member toy libraries can submit their EOI HERE. TLA member toy libraries are encouraged to submit an EOI before Monday 22 July 2024.

For further information about the project please contact

-          Louise Bell, National Development Manager or

-          Adelle Suitor Volunteering Project Officer:

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