In 1977 a quasi-embassy was opened by Croatians in the Australian capital Canberra as a sign of protest of the inclusion of Croatia in the Yugoslav state at the time. The “Croatian Embassy”, operating out of a rented suburban house, had signs out the front in both Croatian and English announcing that it was the Croatian Embassy in Australia.
Yugoslav diplomats at the time were outraged and wanted it shut down. The Croatians were resistant and managed to stay open for 23 months, closing in October 1979 after a new federal law was passed through Australian parliament.
The Croatian organisers of the embassy got inspiration from the Aborigines, who had earlier set up an Aboriginal Embassy tent in the Parliament Triangle. Four Australian women, who were students at the time, hit the headlines after stealing signs bolted to the Croatian Embassy house. The quartet managed to unknowingly cause an uproar after taking the signs during a student prank where their task was to collect signs from around the city. The four young girls managed to do in five minutes what the Yugoslav authorities had been trying to do for months, writes portal Canberra Times.