Cockington Green’s international display was established in the late 1990’s. This followed consideration of better utilisation of the land which previously was home to the small lake around which the miniature steam-train circled. There were many months of work involved in firstly draining the lake and then creating access to the new international display area underneath the miniature steam-train line.
The process for developing the international display commenced with letters being written to all High Commissions and Embassies in Canberra. Those who responded where engaged in detailed discussions to negotiate which building would best represent their country, a time-frame within which to construct, and last, but not least, from where the funding for the display would come.
Many of the early buildings in the International Display were supported via an Australian Government regional tourism funding initiative designed to assist in the development of the nation’s tourism infrastructure.
Displays were established either with the full funding support provided by Governments of represented countries or in conjunction with their local communities and, in some cases, by the local communities themselves.
Once the building selection and funding issues had been addressed, construction of the buildings started. The area around each building’s location was landscaped catering to its display needs, and to replicate as closely as possible and practical the landscape within which the original building was set.
Upon building completion, Cockington Green often held inauguration ceremonies with the display host country where many of their dignitaries and people from their communities were invited to celebrate this special occasion.
The early days of establishment of the international display gained momentum through wonderful relationships with people such as former Colombian Embassy Chargé d’affaires, Marylu Nicholls and her associates along with Mala Maree, a former official of the South African High Commission.
There was also the infectious vibrancy of the former Slovak Ambassador, Dr. Anna Tureničová and the incredible enthusiasm of Indonesian Education and Cultural Attaché, Dr. Aria Djalil who made possible the historical Borobodur Temple display. This building was fully crafted in Indonesia and shipped to Canberra for display. Models from Lithuania and the Philippines have also been constructed off-site and shipped in for display.
We continue to work closely with Embassies, High Commissions, community groups and governments from around the world to this day on expansion of the display, often having visiting people of note from these wonderful countries walking around the display admiring other countries buildings as well as their own.
Argentina - CAMINITO, BUENOS AIRES
Sponsored by: Embassy of the Argentine Republic
Construction by: Cockington Green Gardens
About the structure:
Alley of “La Boca”, a picturesque neighbourhood populated a century ago by Italian immigrants, Caminito offers a colourful background for tourists to enjoy tangos performed by casual musicians and dancers.
Australia - Gold Mining Scene
Constructed by: Partially constructed by Anthony Barker as part of his year 12 assessment, the remainder was completed by Cockington Green Gardens.
About this Display:
Based on the Central Deborah Gold Mine in Bendigo Victoria, this gold mine is representative of the gold mines established in the 1939 it was closed in 1954. This model has push button operated lift cars that descend into the mine shaft.
Australia - Railway Superintendents Cottage, Goolwa, South Australia
Constructed by: Paul and Pauline Nicholas
About the building:
A replica of the cottage built to accommodate the superintendent of Australia's first railway-horse drawn railway between Goolwa and Port Elliot. This Model was constructed by Paul and Pauline Nicholas as a promotional item for their miniature village at Victor Harbor South Australia, and was donated to Cockington Green Gardens when they sold their business in 2002.
Australia - Wheelers Hut, Kosciusko National Park, New South Wales
Constructed by: Peter Leppert and Doug Pittard for the Kosciusko Huts Association (KHA)
About this building:
This two room hut has walls made from wooden slabs and a roof made from sheets of galvanised iron. It is an example of the huts built early last century for cattle grazing in the high country. The hut is now an important cultural heritage feature of the Kosciusko National Park. Historic huts in the high country also serve as shelters for walkers and skiers in extreme weather conditions.
The Kosciusko Huts Association is a voluntary organisation formed to assist with the conservation and management of historic huts in the alpine national park. Please visit khuts.org for further information.
CHILE - CASA VEGA
Sponsored by: Embassy of the Republic of Chile
Constructed by: Cockington Green Gardens with the assistance of Mrs Dominique Tarud & Mrs Gabriela Steger
About the structure:
A typical countryside house from central Chile. A 19th century adobe building with one metre thick walls and inter-connecting rooms. Model construction time was around 350 hours with 10,000 roof tiles individually cut and laid.