Cubby houses bring out the kids in us all

The Kids Under Cover Cubby House village was once again a strong drawcard for visitors to the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show.

Five building and architectural teams built their dream cubbies for the 2016 Kids Under Cover Cubby House Challenge. The cubbies were judged by a panel of experts and then auctioned during a fundraising event on the opening night of the Show.

The creativity and thought which went into the designs was inspiring and spot-on, if the enthusiasm of the children exploring them was any indication.

Adult visitors were also excited by the innovations in the cubbies, with many commenting on the memories they triggered of their own childhoods.

This positive response was reflected in the lively bidding during the auction, which saw a record price of $17,2000 offered for Port Davis’s “The Relic”. This cubby was inspired by a shipwreck dive and has hidden elements to surprise and delight young explorers.

Altogether the cubby auction brought in $68,300 and was supplemented with a very generous community grant of $40,000 from Gandel Philanthropy.

The team from Matt Gibson Architecture + Design and Hartman Homes took out the architectural award for their multi-functional cubby house “Pl-yground” which contained a ball pit, lavender embedded wall panels, a fireman’s pole and climbing nets.

The full list of awards includes:

Most Colourful Cubby, presented by Vedran Drakulic, CEO of Gandel Philanthropy, to Fairhaven Homes’ “Funhouse”

Fairhaven Homes’ Funhouse was auctioned by Tom Roberts, of Nelson Alexander and raised $15,000.


Most Melbourne Cubby, presented by Councillor Cathy Oke, City of Melbourne, to Archsign and Cas Construct’s “Duplay”

Most Innovative Cubby, presented by Nicole Sciberras, Marketing Services Manager, Rondo, to Archsign and Cas Construct’s “Duplay”

Duplay was auctioned by Luke Banitsiotis of Woodards and raised $17,100
Duplay was auctioned by Luke Banitsiotis of Woodards and raised $17,100


Most Unique Cubby, presented by Kevin Phuong, General Manager, Melbournia, to Porter Davis’ “The Relic”

"The Relic" was auctioned by Harry Li from iSell and raised a record $17,200
“The Relic” was auctioned by Harry Li from iSell and raised a record $17,200


Best Architectural Cubby, presented by Peter Maddison, Grand Designs Australia, to Matt Gibson Architecture & Design and Hartman Construction & Development’s “Pl-yground”

"Pl-yground" was auctioned by Sam Rigopoulos of Hocking Stuart and raised $8,000
“Pl-yground” was auctioned by Sam Rigopoulos of Hocking Stuart and raised $8,000


Most Extraordinary Cubby, presented by Megan Marmur, Marketing Manager – Vic, Mirvac, to Arkhefield and Grocon’s “Cubey House”

“Cubey House” was auctioned by Glen Coutinho of RT Edgar and raised $6,500


Winning Auctioneer, presented by Jo Swift, CEO, Kids Under Cover, to Harry Li of iSell.

Harry Li, Winning Auctioneer
Harry Li, Winning Auctioneer


People’s Choice Award

Visitors to the Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show voted “The Relic” their favourite cubby.

"The Relic" - rear view
“The Relic” – rear view


Auctioneers from leading real estate agencies iSell, Hocking Stuart, Woodards, RT Edgar, and Nelson Alexander took on the task of auctioning a cubby house each, which led to some vigorous but friendly competition.

Kids Under Cover CEO Jo Swift said she was very grateful to everyone who supported this event: builders and designers, auctioneers, judges, sponsors, bidders, volunteers and guests.

“The Cubby House Challenge goes from strength to strength and is our premier fundraising event. Proceeds will be directly invested into preventing youth homelessness, through our scholarship program as well as the building of studios to accommodate at-risk young people.

“As well as the entertainment value of the Cubby House Challenge, it also gives us a great opportunity to talk to people about the issue of youth homelessness and the preventative work we do to support at-risk families.”

Raffle Drawn

The Kids Under Cover 2016 Cubby House Challenge Raffle was drawn at 4pm 24 March 2016.
Congratulations to the winners!
First Prize was won by Janine S. Ticket Number: 2255
Second Prize was won by Kerry O. Ticket Number: 9757


Each year the cubby houses delight audiences, young and old alike, with their innovative and imaginative themes and the 2016 Cubby House Challenge were sensational. Take a look at their construction histories …