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Press Releases

Press Releases

We appreciate the tremendous coverage the media provide in support of the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW and agriculture.

We appreciate the tremendous coverage the media provide in support of the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW and agriculture.

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Blue Mountains Man secures inaugural Sydney Royal Wine Assessment Scholarship

24 Oct 2017

Aspiring NSW winemaker Tom Colman has been named as the inaugural recipient of the Sydney Royal Wine Assessment scholarship. The scholarship is the result of a partnership between the Sydney Royal Wine Committee and the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW Foundation, RASF. The aim of the scholarship is to encourage and support young professionals passionate about wine and committed to forging a career in the Australian wine industry. Growing up at Blackheath in the Blue Mountains gave now 26 year old Tom a passion for the outdoors. Despite this being a distance from the established winemaking regions, Tom's passion for agriculture and viticulture spurred him towards a degree in winemaking and viticulture to which he graduated with honours. During his degree he spent his free time working for various winemakers in the Basket Range in the Adelaide Hills, such as James Erskine at Jauma and Alex Schulkin at The Other Right. Since then he has worked for a variety of wineries within America, Spain and north-eastern France. Tom says he is particularly excited by the opportunity to witness and contribute to changing wine styles and consumer education about the Australian wine industry. This has led him to start a small wine project with his father called Frankly Wines which uses fruit fermented in the family garage. "I’ve always dedicated my time and energy into bettering others and helping others achieve their goals," Tom Colman said. "It means a lot to me that this has been seen and that I can take a step back for a minute and focus on improving myself. "I hope to use all this knowledge to make myself a better taster and improve my knowledge on the world of wine. "I hope to do some associate judging in the future or some broader commentary on wine,” Tom said. The Sydney Royal Wine Assessment Scholarship, valued at $6000, will see Tom Colman take up a fully paid position at the Australian Wine Research Institute’s Advanced Wine Assessment Course next month in Adelaide.   For further information please contact: Roger White Manager, Public Relations Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) P: 02 9704 1453 | E: Read more

Prawns are back – Piccolo debuts – Entries now open for Sydney Royal’s Summer Fine Food Competitions

17 Oct 2017

After being rested in 2017 due to the Australian (Queensland) outbreak of White Spot disease, Prawns are a welcome return to Sydney Royal's Summer Fine Food competitions. The 2017 Show saw prawns excluded from the judging schedule due to the highly contagious White Spot virus which made its way from overseas and was detected in south-east Queensland farmed prawns in late 2016. "We are very pleased to welcome the Prawn sector back to the fold in 2018," said Sydney Royal Fine Food Committee Chair Lyndey Milan OAM. "Sydney Royal felt it was regrettable but necessary to suspend the prawn categories from competition in 2017 due to White Spot. "However upon advice given, Prawns will make their return to the Sydney Royal Summer Aquaculture competition. "Summer and prawns are a much-loved Australian combination and we look forward to what the expert judges have to say when the Aquaculture categories are judged on the 8th and 9th of February next year," Lyndey Milan said. The Aquaculture (farmed seafood) competition will also see judging of Oysters, Trout & Salmon (smoked & cured) plus fresh fish classes including Barramundi and Murray Cod. The Sydney Royal Coffee Competition will feature Piccolo for the very first time in Blend or Single Origin and 100% Australian grown classes, recognising the evolution of coffees roasted specifically for this increasingly-popular style. The judging will take place at The Stables at Sydney Showground on January 30 through to February 1, 2018. The 2018 Sydney Royal Professional Bakery competition will also be judged at The Stables, this taking place on Monday 5th and Tuesday 6th of February 2018 across a total of 64 Bread, Biscuit and Pastry classes, including an apprentice/student baking competition. Entries for Coffee and Professional Bakery close Wednesday, 8 November, 2017 while Aquaculture entries close Wednesday 3 January, 2018. Ends For more information, visit Roger White - Manager, Public Relations Royal Agricultural Society of NSW M: 0478 092 425| P: (02) 9704 1453 | E: Read more

The Royal Easter Show’s “The Stables” named as a finalist in prestigious international Attraction awards.

16 Oct 2017

For many years The Stables was known to loyal showgoers as the temporary home to the beloved Clydesdales and the RM Williams emporium. But that all changed for the 2017 Sydney Royal Easter Show when the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) answered the calls of surveyed patrons for more upmarket food and beverage offerings in a specially-themed venue. The name "The Stables" was retained, but it took on an entirely new look featuring two levels of food outlets and two bars in both stool-and-table and lounge settings. So well received was The Stables experience by both patrons and vendors during The Show, it has just been named as a finalist in the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) Brass Ring Awards for "Best New Innovation in Food and Beverage" - (Attendance under 1 million). The revamp of The Stables was a 12 month project which formed part of the RAS' mission to stay contemporary while not compromising on its almost 200 years of storytelling about Australian agriculture. It obviously worked, with the 922,000 visitors to the 2017 Sydney Royal Easter Show the highest number since 2004. Shane McGrath, Senior Manager of Operations and Product Development for the Sydney Royal Easter Show says the RAS is thrilled to have The Stables recognised internationally by way of the Brass Ring Awards. "We will always have a place for cheese on a stick or the dagwood dog but set out to greatly enhance the perception of 'Show Food' while simultaneously putting a spotlight on our Sydney Royal Fine Food competitions and the prestigious brands associated with these awards," Shane McGrath said. "The new offer reflected and reinforced our agricultural brand and values and helped us take the message and Australia’s top quality food and produce to a large audience of consumers," he said. The RAS of NSW is in some rarified air in the Brass Rings Awards, with finalists in other categories including some of the biggest names in the Attraction industry such as Universal Studios - Japan, Resorts World Sentosa - Singapore, Busch Gardens - USA, Calgary Stampede - Canada, Ocean Park - Hong Kong and Ferrari World - Abu Dhabi. IAPPA is the leading industry association for amusement parks and attraction in the world representing some 5,300 member facilities and manufacturers in 99 countries. The Brass Ring Award winners will be unveiled at an international trade show in Orlando, Florida in the USA next month. Ends For more information and high resolution images of The Stables please contact: Roger White Manager, Public Relations P: 02 9704 1453 or 0478 092 425 E: Read more

The RAS Illabo Bound

10 Oct 2017

The annual Show is a highlight on the calendar for many country towns. They also act as vital lead-in events to the biggest agricultural Show of them all in NSW, the Sydney Royal Easter Show. The Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) is an active supporter of country towns and their annual Shows and this weekend as many as 40 staff from the RAS will descend on the Illabo Showground in southern NSW to help out and join the festivities. "The RAS has been actively involved in the Illabo Show's Prime Lamb Hoof competition for years, but this is the first time the organisation is sending dozens of our team to the town," Murray Wilton, RAS General Manager, Agriculture and the Sydney Royal Easter Show said today. "We won't be just observing either - all the members of the RAS team have been assigned tasks for the day, from running the bbq or the pass the football competition, stewarding in the Horse Section, posting on social media or judging the photography and craft entries. "The RAS sees it as very important that we give back in whatever way we can to the regional and rural communities that we call our family every year at the Sydney Royal Easter Show. "We already do this through our charitable arm, the RAS Foundation by funding projects and youth through scholarships, but being involved in country Shows is another practical way of pitching in. "We are all really looking forward to it," Mr Wilton said. The RAS staff will arrive in the area by bus this Friday (October 13 th ) before returning to Sydney on Saturday night. For further information please contact: Roger White  Manager, Public Relations Royal Agricultural Society of NSW Ph: 02 9704 1453 E:   Ends Read more

Century old Central Coast family butchery breaks through for Sydney Royal glory

26 Sep 2017

Central Coast family butchery Edwards Family Butchery has been unveiled as the Champion of the Deli Meats class at the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW's prestigious Taste of Excellence Awards held at Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park overnight. The Edwards' have won for their Chilli Con Carne entry in the Champion Gourmet Sausage Class through their Woy Woy premises. The Edwards family had in previous years won a silver and bronze medal in the same competition, but had never been declared Champion.  The Edwards family's links to the meat industry stretch back to the early 1900s and then 12 year old apprentice butcher Jack Edwards. The family later famously established shops across Sydney's North Shore, Round Corner in northwest Sydney and now the Central Coast. The Taste of Excellence Awards is the culmination of months of intense judging by local and international experts. Categories that made up the 2017 Taste of Excellence Awards included Beef, Lamb, Chocolate, Beer and Cider, Deli Meats, Regional Food, Pasta, Olive Oil and for the very first time, Pork. Champion in the Pork category was West Australian entry Food Security International for its Black Label Berkshire, Berkshire Silver. Overall a total of 115 Gold, 525 Silver and 390 Bronze medals were awarded across all categories and classes. Chair of the Sydney Royal Wine and Fine Food Committee Ms Lyndey Milan OAM says the level of national interest and quality of entries each year is proof of the prestige of the Taste of Excellence Awards.  "Sydney Royal standards are extremely high and the number of medals awarded is proof that Australian producers are continuing to turn out world class product, providing potential business growth both at home and internationally.  "It is pleasing to see that Australian companies are concentrating on quality and imagination in what they are producing. We see that not only at the Sydney Royal Easter Show each year in an ever increasing list of animal breeds and food varietals, but in each of our Sydney Royal competitions," Ms Milan said. "Judges this year spoke of the complexity and innovation in Australian chocolates submitted to the Taste of Excellence Awards as just one example," she said. Champions from the individual categories will now be eligible for assessment for the RAS' ultimate accolade, the President's Medal, to be announced at a gala dinner at the 2018 Sydney Royal Easter Show. 2017 Taste of Excellence Award Winners and results for each competition can be found via: Further information, interview and image requests, please contact: Cathy La Manna m 0409 245 540  e Read more

Sydney Royal's Cheese and Dairy Produce Competition to Judge Camel Milk for the first time

18 Sep 2017

Applications have opened for the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW's annual Cheese and Dairy Produce competition and for the first time a Class for Camel Milk has been installed in the event. The Sydney Royal's Cheese and Dairy Committee has agreed to the Class after approaches about the potential for Camel Milk being included in the prestigious competition. Cheese and Dairy Produce Committee Chair Gary Reid says entry numbers in the first year are not expected to be high, but the class warrants consideration. "Camel Milk and its health properties have become quite topical in recent times," Mr Reid said. "It is naturally low in fat and it contains many of the immune protecting properties of human milk". "By the RAS incorporating this Class in the Cheese and Dairy Produce competition it shows that the Sydney Royal competitions and their committees can move with the times and provide feedback on a new but exciting product within Australia. "When you think of it the whole concept of camel milk in Australia makes sense, as Camels can thrive in inhospitable territory with little grass and water," Mr Reid said. The Sydney Royal Cheese and Dairy Produce competition already judge across Cow, Sheep, Goat and Buffalo milk classes. Another first for the Cheese and Dairy competition will be a Research and Development Class, a non-medal category where expert judges will provide confidential feedback to exhibitors on the quality of their product. The Cheese and Dairy Produce competition is one of the most broad ranging of those held by the RAS of NSW and includes Milk, Butter, Cheese, Gelato, Sorbet, Ice Cream, Yoghurt, Cream, Custard and Mousse classes. Entries close 13 October 2017 with judging to be held at Sydney Showground February 12-15, 2018. This will be the first Sydney Royal competition for 2018. Entries and further information can be found via; Ends. Roger White Manager, Public Relations Royal Agricultural Society of NSW T: (02) 9704 1453 M: 0478 092 425 E: Read more

BEE INFORMED – RAS of NSW to host important tutorial in efforts to revive Bee and Honey sectors

15 Sep 2017

The Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) will host a one day Honey, Candle, & Beeswax Tutorial at Sydney Showground next Monday, 18 September 2017. The tutorial will deal with adding skills in the manufacturing of better honey and also candles, beeswax and beeswax moulds. Mr Bruce White OAM, more than 60 years a beekeeper will, along with Cate Burton, conduct the tutorial. Bruce is a renowned expert and Judge in the field and is a great communicator. Cate has been making candles for well over a decade and is a Judge of candles, beeswax and wax moulds - what she doesn't know about beeswax isn’t worth knowing. This tutorial has been established to instruct members of the industry or the public who have an interest in becoming a Judge or want to improve the quality of their honey-based exhibits. It will reveal what judges are looking for in competition. It is an important venture as the Australian bee and honey industries, like many around the world have been threatened by what is known as Colony Collapse. Colony Collapse is a condition first noticed in the United States some 10 years ago where beehives were being discovered empty and entire populations of feral and managed honey bees were disappearing. Bees are a crucial element in agriculture because they pollinate an estimated two thirds of all food humans consume. Beekeeping in NSW has some high profile enthusiasts, including the Governor of NSW, His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC and the NSW Minister for Primary Industries, the Hon Niall Blair. Ends Media interested in interviewing Mr White or Ms Burton are asked to contact: Roger White Manager, Public Relations p 02 9704 1453 m 0478 092 425 e Read more

RAS Scholarship Applications Closing Soon

1 Sep 2017

Scholarships - they are at the very heart of the not-for-profit Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS). The RAS offers numerous valuable scholarships each year through its charitable arm, the RAS Foundation. Applications close on 30 September 2017 on four of these scholarships. They are; The JB Fairfax Award for Rural and Regional Journalism Sydney Royal Wine Study Scholarship RAS Foundation Rural Scholarship Sydney Royal Dairy Produce Scholarship The JB Fairfax Award for Rural and Regional Journalism is offered to a journalism student who has a passion and desire to report on issues affecting rural and regional communities. It includes a $10,000 scholarship as well as practical work experience in the commercial media and the Sydney Royal Easter Show Media Centre. The JB Fairfax Award for Rural and Regional Journalism was established to encourage quality coverage of rural and regional affairs by Australian journalists. It was created through a donation by Mr John B Fairfax AO and is managed by the RAS Foundation. Interested applicants are encouraged to visit to find out more about the scholarship and to complete the online application form. The Sydney Royal Wine Study Scholarship is a grant designed to reward a tertiary student who is passionate about pursuing a career in the Australian wine industry. A number of past recipients of the Wine Scholarship have gone on to successful careers as winemakers, either at their own wineries of for some of the nation’s leading winemaking names. Applications for the 2018 award can be completed online through the RASF website The RAS Foundation Rural Scholarship is an initiative designed to ensure an increased flow of skilled people to rural and regional NSW communities. Scholarships are awarded to tertiary students based on financial need and desire to play an active part in the future of rural NSW. A record 64 recipients received grants in 2017. Applications for the RASF 2018 Rural Scholarships can be accessed online at The Sydney Royal Dairy Produce Scholarship aims to foster the development of Australia’s next generation of NSW dairy produce industry leaders. As well as a grant towards full-time or part-time study the successful recipient will also have the opportunity to steward at the 2018 Sydney Royal Cheese & Dairy Produce Show in February. Interested applicants are encouraged to visit to find out more about the scholarship and to complete the online application form. Murray Wilton, General Manager Agriculture & Sydney Royal Easter Show, is pleased to announce that 2018 scholarships will increase, with $6000 granted to full-time students and $3000 for part-time study, up from $5000 and $2500. “The RAS Foundation is aware of the increasing costs for country students and the incredible difference our scholarships can make,” Mr Wilton said. “Moving away from home in order to continue with education is a big decision and one that carries significant and growing costs for students. Hopefully the increase in our scholarship will make a big difference as they pursue higher education,” he said. Applications for the four scholarships detailed above close at 5pm, September 30, 2017. Ends. Visit for more information on the RAS Foundation. For further information please contact: Roger White, Manager, Public Relations p (02) 9704 1453 m 0478 092 425 e Read more
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