How It All Began

In the 1970's,  the Chairman of the Noble Park Public Hall Trust was A.J."Paddy" O'Donoghue,  a community minded gentleman,  Paddy had a great love of people and especially children.  His only daughter, Maureen, died at the age of 13. 

Paddy O’Donoghue's dream was for children of all abilities to have a place to gather, exercise and have fun. In 1974 he called a meeting gaining support from four people; Paddy’s niece, Lorraine Tate, her brother in law, Tony Nash, and Mr and Mrs Frank Hanson. They then found two honorary coaches, George Edmonson and Rick Collister.

There wasn’t much money to purchase equipment, but from time to time second hand gym equipment was purchased and donated for the young gymnasts to use.

Sharon Hogg took over as gym coach and stayed with Koala until the early 80s. 

During the 80s the Hall burnt down and Koala Gym was forced to temporarily move to the Springvale community Centre.

At this time the coaches were Sharon Lloyd (nee Hogg) and Evelyn Quehenberger. Both coaches announced they wouldn't be returning in 1986. This was a great loss for Koala Gym.

The club carried on with coaches Joddie Robins, Fiona Nemecek and Laurel Delalande. All stayed at the club for several years until 1989 when Jodie Robins and Catherine Barnard took over coaching.

In 2015 the club was forced to relocate once again, this time to the heather hill secondary college gymnasium due to renovations to the main hall and the building of the Paddy O'Donoghue Centre.

Catherine Green had been with Koala Since she was five or six years of age

Catherine Green (Barnard) is Head Coach of Koala Gym Club to this day and has been coaching with Koala for over thirty years. 

Catherine’s daughter Elizabeth began coaching in 2012 and more recently her son Christopher.  They are joined by several other coaches and assistants. The club has grown greatly since first starting and will continue to do so in the many years to come.