Sweet Success for Australia’s Best Cubby

Creative Cubbies Continue to Connect us

A vibrant blue head, fairy-tale log cabin and a web-like interactive wonderland sat alongside a whimsical connect four modular climbing block at this year’s Cubby House Challenge®. But it was the imaginatively delicious Rock Road cubby that stole the show at the special twilight auction event held within the picturesque Carlton Gardens.

The team from Becon Constructions and Watson Young Architects not only wowed the judges with their wildly colorful cubby creation it inspired some spirited bidding on auction night, taking home the title of Australia’s Best Cubby selling for $20,500.

A futuristic fusion of geometric shapes with different play areas for the ultimate sensory experience, Rocky Road took home four of the six awards up for grabs, including Most Imaginative and Interactive Cubby and Kids Choice Award.

This year’s expert judging panel included Peter Maddison, architect and host of Grand Designs Australia; Shaynna Blaze, interior designer and judge on The Block; Emily Power, Editor of Domain; and Ben and Andy, former contestants on Channel 9’s The Block.

The real experts, a group of children from Carlton Gardens Primary joined the judging panel to put the cubbies to the test casting their vote for the Kids’ Choice Award.

The 10th Cubby House Challenge® did not disappoint, all five cubbies sold on the night raising over $70,000 to support our youth homelessness prevention programs.


Peter Maddison was on hand to present the team from Buildher Collective, Beirin Projects and Bellemo & Cat with the award for Best Architectural Cubby for their beautifully sculptured 3-dimensional jigsaw puzzle cubby, Heads Up.

World of Style by Porter Davis proved they certainly are the experts in style taking home the award for Best Interior Designed Cubby for their fairy-tale like inspired cubby, The Eyrie.

Since its inception, the Cubby House Challenge® has raised over $600,000 for Kids Under Cover. This year the event raised just over $100,000!

In 2018 we welcomed the support of Shura Taft as MC along with our long-time auction partners; Luke Banitsiotis from Woodards; Craig Shearn from Jellis Craig Inner North; Tom Roberts, Nelson Alexander; James Hatzolos representing RT Edgar and of course Harry Li from ISell Group – who took out the Top Auctioneer Award.

The generosity of the purchasers coupled with the support of the event sponsors and partners has a significant impact on the work we can do. Equally as important is the support shown by the design and build teams.

This year all teams pulled out all stops to deliver some of the best cubbies we have seen. All teams, along with their own supporters and partners, showed an incredible amount of enthusiasm and dedication to delivering the very best cubby houses.

During the summer school holidays, The District Docklands held activities for children to participate in the design and build of their cubby house, Block Party. Engaging the local community on the project created such a wonderful community connection which resulted in The District Docklands deciding to buy the cubby back at auction. Block Party will return to the shopping precinct for the community to enjoy.

“This year we have been overwhelmed by the efforts of the build and design teams, and the generous bidders,” said Jo Swift, CEO of Kids Under Cover. “The funds raised from the auction of the cubbies will be invested into preventing youth homelessness through our Studio and Scholarship Programs.”

Figurehead Construction in collaboration with Bayley Ward created a weblike, climbing wonderland suitable for any budding Spiderman. Joe Grasso, Managing Director, said the Cubby House Challenge® was an opportunity to give back to those less fortunate. “At Figurehead Construction, we like to give back beyond just writing a cheque, but by putting in our time, effort and passion for the greater good,” Joe said. “Giving connects us to each other and it connects us to others by creating a stronger community.”

And connect us these cubbies did. More than 100,000 people visited the Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show, and anyone with kids most certainly stopped by the Cubby House Village to check them out.

CEO, Jo Swift sees firsthand the joy the cubbies bring. “I take great delight in seeing the children visit the Cubby House Village to play in the cubbies. This really highlights the important role of play in a child’s life. But it is the big kids, the parents, I really enjoy seeing interact with their children or grandchildren, perhaps remembering the simple pleasure of innocent fun.”

We are very grateful to have been part of the Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show as the Official Charity Partner. Being able to display the cubbies at the Show provides a valuable opportunity to talk to people about our work and the issue of youth homelessness. And it was the perfect platform for the launch of our social enterprise, Nestd (read about our tiny home initiative HERE).

An event of this magnitude is never possible without a dedicated team of volunteers.  

Thank you to everyone who joined us on site. We loved having you as part of our team and are so grateful for the commitment of time you gave, we understand how busy everybody is these days, so thank you.

Thank you to all event partners and sponsors who continue to show support for at-risk young people. We couldn’t do what we do without people who share our vision of a community where no young person is homeless.




Congratulations, and thank you to the following builders and designers for generously donating their time, expertise and of course the incredible cubby houses for the event;

Becon Constructions and Watson Young Architects

Buildher Collective, Beirin Projects and Bellemo & Cat

Figurehead Construction and architect Bayley Ward

The District Docklands, NH Architecture and APM Group

Porter Davis and the World of Style team


Visit cubbyhousechallenge.org.au to view photographs from the event



Return to Undercover News Autumn edition homepage