World Expo Shanghai


Australia’s top cartoonists

This is a compressed version of the making of a nation from 1788 to 2010 – 222 years of history jammed into 22 meters of display space, with 25 moments in history explored with a dioramic depiction.

We’d chose Australia’s top cartoonists to design the story and create a ‘one off’ display for all guests. We commissioned 25 single scene cartoons to turn into the scenic display, incorporating 25 discrete sound zones for local audio to tell the stories. The display illustrates the strength of the Australian character and the spirit of the nation.

All information areas was researched from 100’s of selections of unique Australian history and reviewed by the Australian Government.

Key Points:

  • Larrikin/fun approach

  • Diorama executed in a “cartoony” style

  • Fun and odd moments/vignettes that work graphically

  • Surrounds the audience – birds eye view that starts along one wall
    and travels over audience heads and finishes on the other wall.

Subjects for display included:

  • The First Fleet arrives at the site of modern Sydney.
  • Laying the foundations of an innovative, world-leading wool industry.
  • Trade between Australia and China begins on Derwent.
  • Lieutenant Matthew Flinders becomes the first person to sail around the Australian continent.
  • Gold is discovered in Victoria
  • Voters’ independence is achieved with the introduction of the secret ballot.
  • Building a telegraph line through Australia’s red centre
  • By popular vote, six colonies unite to form a single nation
  • Australia’s first national parliament gives women equal voting rights
  • Douglas Mawson leads the first Australasian expedition to Antarctica.
  • Walter Burley Griffin wins an international competition to design a new Australian capital.
  • Australian soldiers landing at Gallipoli in western Turkey, a major event in World War I.
  • Flying doctors save lives in the outback
  • Australia’s first commercial aviation company to transport passengers, mail and freight, Qantas
  • Charles Kingsford Smith and Charles Ulm make the first flight across the Pacific Ocean
  • The construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge finally connects the north and south
  • The School of the Air brings education to children living in remote outback Australia.
  • Jørn Utzon designs the new Sydney Opera House – an enduring marvel of world-class architecture.
  • The construction of the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme.
  • The Great Barrier Reef is under threat.
  • When Brisbane hosts the World Expo, a city is transformed.
  • The Sydney 2000 Olympic Games features a stunning display of Australian culture.
  • Prime Minister Kevin Rudd makes an historic apology to all Aborigines and Torres Straight Islanders who experienced the forcible removal of children.


Historic moments

222 years

Australian History

22 metres

Scenic models


By film set sculptors & artists


+ Concept and illustrative design 
Historical research / copy writing
Illustrative artistic interpretation
Scenic sculptural design


+ Diorama fabrication
Graphic exhibition design
Custom freight
Onsite installation in China