Our Story

In 1971, we started as the Noah’s Ark Toy Library for Handicapped Children. 

In 2021, Noah’s Ark celebrated its 50th anniversary.

We started as the Noah’s Ark Toy Library for Handicapped Children, run by a small group of parents of children with a disability.

Annetine forrell

At the time, families were beginning to refuse to put their children with disabilities into institutional care and institutions stopped admitting young children.

This social change meant that children began to live at home, prompting the need for new education and therapy services.

Institutional care

Noah’s Ark co-founder Annetine Forell was a parent of a child with a disability. Along with co-founder Mary Glue, she saw the need for family support. They established toy libraries for children with a disability. The service recognised the importance of play in a child’s development and provided a place for families to discuss the challenges of parenting.

Noahs ark toy library

Celebrating 50 years

Celebrating a 50th anniversary is a huge milestone for any organisation. In 2022, we saw the completion of a history film which reflects on the achievements of the past five decades and was many years in the making in the lead up to this celebration. The film features interviews with Noah’s Ark founders as well as staff and families who have witnessed the many changes and made an important contribution to the organisation over the years.

The film looks back at how far we’ve come from our roots as a toy library and the parents who saw the need for a change in attitudes of the time (and the clinical-based approach to early intervention), to the current day where an inclusive and supportive environment welcomes children with additional needs and their families into Noah’s Ark.