A Ballad of Willow Never Ceased - To Toad Hall’s 45th Birthday

Photo credit: Courtesy of Toad Hall, ANU Archives

“Yeah I see… but where is Toad Hall?”

That’s the most frequently asked question when I tell friends I am a Toadie (aka Toad Hall Resident). And honestly I don’t blame them. Toad Hall is one of the oldest buildings in ANU campus, old enough to disappear in the horizon and to give up on ACs. As a result, we all have to inhabit the AA Common Room during summertime to avoid the heat, but this also means we can share dinners on the big table, with sides of laughs and stories, and try for a Harry Potter Marathon Screening which we never finished (everybody fell into slumber after Azkaban).

Toad Hall has no secrets, and everybody knows that. If you talk gossip in your own room, due to the sound-transparent walls, everybody will know your little story by the end of the week. And in this way, most people choose to be super mindful of others. People in Toad greet each other like old pals, organising potlucks like a big family. After all, we already see this place beside Sullivan’s Creek as our “home away from home”.

Toad Hall is a maze, but in the best way possible. First-time guests will definitely get lost in its unique architectural design. But it’s just like life: full of uncertainties, and filled with surprises. We have a group of Senior Residents (SRs) and Community Coordinators (CCs) formed by current students working as the gatekeepers and servants for the community. Each pair of them are responsible for a different portfolio like Media, Sports, Wellbeing, and Academic. You can check our various weekly and special events on Facebook, ‘Croak Newsletter ’, or by chatting with your nice neighbours in the block kitchen. Whenever you go down to the AA Common Room, you’ll always be able to explore new hobbies and have a clan – you can never get bored in Toad.

Recently, we had our ‘Research Night’ to have three residents introduced as a result of their their professional insights in academia; we’ve also had a Toad Hall Residential Advisory Committee (THRAC) organised ‘Bollywood Night’ to teach us Indian dancing moves; and we’ve all rallied together to continue our expenditure on the newest episode of the Iron Throne. Above all that, representatives from each country/district are busy preparing their own national performance and cuisine to be put on display in the annual ‘Multi-cultural Festival’ (MCF) at the end of this month, because Toad Hall values nothing more than diversity and community wellbeing.

We just love this hall and its people more than anything else. Soon enough, we will all be leaving this place for another step in our journeys, but this good old building, with a BBQ beside the willow trees, will never perish in our heart. And one day, I’d be proud to say I’m a Toadie Alumni. Because the essence of the ANU value – things like academic excellence, equity, tolerance, and a global horizon – rests here at 30 Kingsley Street.