OUR LITTLE STORY
Kulungah Myah Toy Library Kardinya Inc, trading as Kardinya Toy Library, has been operating from the Kulungah Myah Family Centre for 30 years. This is no small achievement when we appreciate the many hours of unpaid work, and the huge amount of good will and cooperation shown by member families and community friends to reach this milestone.
It all began with a brilliant idea – to provide local families with a service that provides extended play opportunities for children, via curated, high-quality toys, puzzles, games and costumes to be shared in common. The vision was child focused, sustainable and community minded.
In one of Kardinya Toy Library’s earliest meetings in May 1991, Committee Members discussed a number of matters including fees, borrowing conditions and grant options. After a successful grant application to Lotteries West, Kardinya Toy Library commenced its borrowing service, and had an official opening day on Saturday 7th September 1991. The not-for-profit toy library soon grew steadily. It became very popular,and organised a waiting list of potential member families to manage demand.
Rostered duty service has been a hall mark of Kardinya Toy Library, with parents sharing their skills to run the office, and to assist families to borrow toys every Saturday morning, and some Wednesdays.
From day one, our Toy Library has been independent in its financial affairs. Resourcefulness has been essential, and we have formed very positive partnerships with local businesses to help meet our operational expenses, including The Playroom, Spudshed, Coles, Big W, and Dosorgna. Other important benefactors over the years, include Lotteries West and Melville City Council.
As you can imagine checking and keeping stock of 400 plus toys requires a coordinated effort. We have valued the important contribution which local students have made from Iona Presentation College, Thomas Moore College, Seton College, and Santa Maria College. By completing their community service hours with us, they have not only progressed their own personal goals, but have ensured that our toys remained well cared for and safe for use.
In May 2021, the Kardinya Toy Library celebrated its 30 year Anniversary! This was acknowledged with a beautiful and very joyful morning tea and pop-up play date.
2021 has been an amazing year for the toy library in another important way. The McGowan State Government, via the Department of Communities and with support from Member for Willagee, Mr Peter Tinley, provided the toy library with a $30,000 grant. The grant will help us to:
- acquire new, curated and high quality toys which will engage, delight and educate.
- upgrade our equipment, embrace new technology & restructure our storage space.
- retain our current membership and recruit new members.
- ensure our stockpile contains only safe and operational toys.
- meet our broader vision and community values.
Indeed, the Kardinya Toy Library aims to provide a service for families in the City of Melville and beyond, for many, many years to come!
“We are more than just a means for families to access toys cheaply. We are group of like minded families who value friendship, sharing and resourcefulness. We understand that creating a sustainable, inspired and playful journey for our children is something we take personal responsibility for, and that together we can showcase to others that volunteering, active citizenship, and community-building are worthy pursuits in themselves.” – Renee Case, President, 2019 – Current – excerpt from Presidents Report, Annual General Meeting, 24th March,2021.