9th Cubby House Challenge® Event

9th Annual Cubby House Challenge® Breaks Auction Records.

The Cubby House Challenge®, our largest and most high-profile event is one we always look forward to. This year marked our third as the official charity of the Melbourne International Flower &Garden Show (MIFGS), and we are incredibly thankful to have been part of the spectacular show once again.

Proving to be more popular than ever the 9th Cubby House Challenge® showed no signs of disappointing. With an expert judging panel consisting of Architect and Grand Designs Australia host, Peter Maddison; Architect and host of House Rules, Joe Snell; Editor of The Design Files Lucy Feagins; Alice Stolz, National Managing Editor of Domain; Interior Designer Fiona Lynch and parenting expert Dr Justin Coulson, this year’s event delivered one of the most exciting and groundbreaking so far.

Set within the picturesque Carlton Gardens, five architecturally designed and custom built cubby houses were displayed attracting a large crowd to the Cubby House Village across the five days. The highlight of the Cubby House Challenge® was the special twilight auction event held on Thursday 30 March.

Each cubby house was auctioned during the event creating great excitement and anticipation as guests bid on their favourite cubby, eventuating in the awarding of Australia’s Best Cubby.

The cubbies – all built and donated by leading members of the Australian building and design industry – really broke the mould this year delivering the most creative, innovative and unique cubbies yet. Showcasing never-before-seen techniques and features, including 3D printed wall panels, interactive facades, multi-level interactive spaces, Lego-like movable blocks, a periscope, and even a turret! (view the cubbies here)

The judging panel had a tough job deciding on the award winners who were announced at the twilight event attended by The Hon. Martin Foley MP, event sponsors, our corporate partners, and generous supporters. Andy and Ben from 2016’s The Block even made an appearance, helping out onstage.

Kids Under Cover CEO, Jo Swift has been part of the Cubby House Challenge® since the beginning and has seen the event evolve first hand. “Each year the cubbies look completely different, it’s amazing to see what happens when designers get creative carte blanche. There has been a greater shift towards innovation but this year is a great blend of both with some cubbies going back to basics with climbing blocks and blackboards”, says Jo.

The auctioneers, some of Melbourne’s best real estate agents, also volunteered their time. Sam Rigpoulos from Jellis Craig was involved for the 7th time, set an impressive record with the sale of his cubby taking his total raised to $119,550 in those seven years.

Together, the auctioneers helped raise a record total of $92,500 from tcpm_kuc_215he auction.


The title of Australia’s Best Cubby went Glowb by Playce and Agency of Sculpture. Glen Coutinho auctioned the winning cubby for a record-breaking $26,000, taking home this year’s ‘Top Auctioneer’ award.




The colourful cubby houses provide the perfect platform for us to promote our cause. “At grass-roots level, the Cubby House Village is a great place for us to engage with adults and their children. It’s an important opportunity to spread awareness about our work,” says Jo Swift.

The event further enabled us to raise vital funds to support our work through the sale of pins, raffle tickets, and merchandise, whilst at the same time offering a fun-filled space for children, young and old, to play and explore.

Jo is also incredibly thankful to the 120 plus people who volunteered their time at the 2017 Cubby House Challenge®, saying “we simply couldn’t have done it without you, our dedicated volunteers – thank you so much for your support.”

The 2017 Cubby House Challenge® not only set new records but will make an enormous difference.

“Exceeding our target was exciting, the funds raised will be directly invested into preventing youth homelessness. It means we can cover our annual scholarship dispensement or the cost of two or even three relocatable studios, which is just an amazing and heartening result,” said Jo.

Long term supporters, Gandel Philanthropy supported this year’s event with a matching grant of up to $70,000, almost doubling their $40,000 contribution in 2016. We are incredibly grateful for this vital support which will have a huge impact on the work we are able to undertake.

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

FMSA Architecture; RMIT; Playce; Agency of Sculpture; Grimshaw Architecture; Warrick Home Builder; Porter Davis; and Probuild.

Thank you also to Capture Point Media for providing the terrific photographs from the event!

We are incredibly grateful of the design and build teams, volunteers, event partners and supporters who generously put their tine and energy into making the 9th Cubby House Challenge® one of the very best yet! 


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For more information on results of the Cubby House Challenge click HERE

You can view photographs from the Cubby House Challenge® HERE OR read more about the 2017 Cubby House Challenge® HERE


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