Moana Park Kindergarten had its humble beginnings in 1967 when Lesley Littlejohn began a small Kindy in her own home in the local neighbourhood. It soon moved into the Church of God building in Moana Avenue and in 1969, Mrs Barbara Overell took over as the first qualified Director.
The kindergarten was attended by children of families in Florida Gardens, Cypress Gardens, Coral Gables and Moana Park. These areas are collectively known today as Broadbeach Waters.
The Kindergarten spent the next 4 years in the Church building and in 1973 the Executive Committee at the time which included Barry Spall, Geoff Burchill, Peter Overell, David Rosin, Tom Bartlett, Stuart Bauman, Reg Schuster and Roberto Ulliana, personally contributed funds, which added up to several thousands of dollars each, in order to secure a bank loan of $20,000 to build what is our building today.
The land was granted by the Albert Shire as was the extra land for our carpark and some trees. The new Director at the time, Miss Anne Schuster, fresh from College, was very much involved in the design and planning of the building. Electrical work, the first refrigerator and the stove were donated by Mr Bauman, and the paint and painting of the building both inside and out were donated by Mr Rosin.
19 September, 1973 marked the Opening Celebrations. The families at the time set about the onerous task of raising $2000 through an Opening Day fete (which 30 years ago was an extraordinary amount of money) for use, along with a $2000 grant from the government to equip the Centre with beds, furniture, books, puzzles, etc. The first Executive Committee in the building included Mr Barry Spall-President, Mrs Lyn van Peppen-Secretary and Mrs Annette Murphy-Treasurer. Under Mr Spall's presidency, it looked like the future of this wonderful new place for children was set!
However, tragedy struck Moana Park Kindergarten in January 1974 when the Centre was inundated by 18" of floodwater from the swollen canal across the road. As Mrs Phylis Oliver (Assistant from 1969-2001) recalls, "Anne Schuster's father had to take us in his grader through the water and mud to begin the cleanup. We lost our whole library that day. Books were floating in the muddy water around our legs. It was so sad." The Centre had no flood insurance and a $500 donation from the Crèche & Kindergarten Association assisted in beginning the Library collection again. It took a week's solid work by volunteers to return it to a fit state to welcome the children back.
From those early days until the present, Moana Park Kindergarten, now known as Broadbeach Waters Kindergarten, has remained a renowned Centre for excellence in Early Childhood Education on the Gold Coast. The environment we enjoy today is a testament to the commitment and dedication of the hundreds of families who have passed through its doors over the years. Ours is a community effort and we can only continue to thrive with the participation of every family who joins us. We all need to continue to work together to promote the importance of quality in Early Childhood Education to ensure that the Broadbeach Waters Kindergarten will always be a fine example of this.