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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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Applications open for JB Fairfax Award for Rural and Regional Journalism

3 Jul 2017

July 3, 2017 The rich tradition of Australian rural journalism is being celebrated once more through the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) Foundation's JB Fairfax Award. Applications have now opened for the 2018 JB Fairfax Award for Rural and Regional Journalism, the scholarship now entering its tenth year. This year there is a new twist to the Award, with the traditional request to write on a subject selected by the RASF replaced with an invitation to write an inspirational piece on a member of rural or regional Australia. RAS Foundation Executive Director Kate Ross says there is no end to the long list of colourful and inspirational characters who have and continue to make up the fabric of rural and regional Australia; “This is a golden opportunity for our journalists of the future to uncover some of the great stories that are out there but have in many cases gone unheralded,” Ms Ross said. This year the JB Fairfax Award scholarship has received a significant boost, with the addition of an internship opportunity with the ABC in Brisbane working on the iconic Landline and Country Hour programs and in the online newsroom. This internship will complement a suite of internships the award winner will have access to, including with Fairfax Agricultural Media’s The Land newspaper and the RAS Media Team at the Sydney Royal Easter Show. The JB Fairfax Award also includes a $10,000 cash prize. The most recent winner of the JB Fairfax Award was Singleton’s Elise Pfeiffer, who as part of her $10,000 scholarship, worked with the media team covering the many stories that emerged from the 2017 Sydney Royal Easter Show. Elise, a third year Journalism student at the University of Newcastle, says it was an invaluable learning opportunity and rates it as one of her best life experiences to date; “As a part of the scholarship I travelled down to Sydney to participate in the Sydney Royal Easter Show internship program - a fast paced two-week glimpse into the world of media,” said Elise. “As a third and final year journalism student, the opportunities the internship program offered were unlike any other work placement I could have dreamed of, whether it was being a part of a live television broadcast or assisting in a photoshoot. “Meeting John Fairfax was definitely one of the invaluable and defining moments of my time in Sydney,” Elise said. Applications close 30 September, 2017 with the successful recipient announced early 2018. Interested applicants are encouraged to visit www.rasnsw.com.au/foundation to find out more about the scholarship, the editorial requirements and to complete the online application form. The JB Fairfax Award for Rural Journalism was established to encourage quality coverage of rural and regional affairs by local journalists. It operates through a generous annual donation by Mr John B Fairfax and is managed by the RAS Foundation. For further information, including high resolution images, please contact: Roger White – Manager, Public Relations Royal Agricultural Society of NSW P: (02) 9704 1453| E: rwhite@rasnsw.com.au   About the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) Foundation: The RAS Foundation is a charitable foundation that encourages educational opportunities and helps build strong and sustainable rural and regional communities through a range of targeted grants and scholarships. Visit www.rasnsw.com.au/foundation/  for more information on the RAS Foundation. Read more

AgVision Sydney to help address National agri-skills crisis

26 Jun 2017

The Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) has partnered with the Department of Education and Junee High School to bring AgVision to Sydney Showground on 27 July 2017. AgVision is an agri-careers exhibition that will provide secondary school pupils (Years 9 -11) with a unique chance to learn about the industry, while gaining a greater understanding of the wide-ranging careers available in agriculture, science and agri-business. AgVision forms part of a national response to Australia's agri-skills crisis and is designed to encourage and inspire young people to become the future of agriculture in Australia. "AgVision Sydney will provide a platform for developing a greater connection between students and the agribusiness sector, where they can experience first-hand what it's like to work in an industry trade or service" said Murray Wilton, General Manager, Agriculture at the RAS. "For many teenagers, the first taste of agriculture is a visit to the Sydney Royal Easter Show. "What we want is to turn that spark of interest into a career in the agriculture industry.  Agriculture accounts for more than $12b in production value for the NSW economy each year, 25% of the entire Australian output. During AgVision Sydney, students will participate in five hands-on learning experiences from a selection of 50 workshops. "These will be run by industry professionals from all over NSW," Mr Wilton said. "The RAS is proud to be part of this excellent initiative with the Department of Education and Junee High School," said Mr Wilton. The workshops will profile a range of careers, including technology, research and development, primary production, secondary production, processing, logistics, transport, handling, marketing of products, commodities and services. AgVision Sydney: The Details WHEN: Thursday 27 July 2017 WHERE: Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park TIME: 8.30am – 2.30pm WHO: Students Years 9-11 ADMISSION: $15 per student REGISTRATION: Open to schools and students on Monday 29 May - Closes Friday 21 July 2015. For further information, contact Georgia Clark: education@rasnsw.com.au or phone 02 9704 1147 MEDIA: For further information and interview requests, please contact: Roger White, Manager, Public Relations p  02 9704 1453 m 0478 092 425 e rwhite@rasnsw.com.au Read more

Budding Viticulturist Hannah McKay Awarded 2017 Sydney Royal Wine Scholarship

1 Jun 2017

1 June, 2017 A decision to trade a business career to follow her passion in the Australian wine industry has paid off for Hannah McKay of NSW, with her being awarded the prestigious 2017 Sydney Royal Wine Scholarship. Ms McKay, a part-time Viticulture student studying by distance at Charles Sturt University from her base in Margaret River, Western Australia, will receive $3,500 towards her tertiary studies as well as the opportunity to steward at the 2017 KPMG Sydney Royal Wine Show this coming July. Sydney Royal Wine Committee Chair, Sally Evans, commended Ms McKay for her inspiring vision of how she plans to be involved in the future success of the Australian wine industry. “It’s wonderful to be able to offer the opportunity of stewarding at the KPMG Sydney Royal Wine show to Ms McKay, who will benefit greatly from the learnings and networks she will receive access to. She not only impressed us with her passion for viticulture but also her desire to play a leading role in encouraging more young women into the wine industry,” Ms Evans said. Employed by iconic winery Vasse Felix, 28 year old Ms McKay has a passion for plants and wine and is focussed on finding ways to combine traditional farming practices, land management techniques and native species in a vineyard setting. “I’m thrilled to be selected for this amazing scholarship and excited about the opportunities it will bring as I work towards my goal of being a leading female viticulturist. The scholarship has encouraged me to further develop my learning in the field and classroom to reveal more sustainable ways of growing wine grapes in Australia,” said Ms McKay. “My wine journey began when I left an office career and started working in vineyards near my family home in the Southern Highlands wine region. I instantly fell in love with the industry and each day I look forward to what I’m going to learn and then implement in the vineyard.” “I am excited to connect with other like-minded people across Australia at the upcoming wine show and will use this scholarship to strengthen the precision and quality of Australian viticulture and wine,” she said. The judging panel was so impressed with the high quality of applications that for the first time in history, a runner up scholarship was awarded. The 2017 runner-up honour has gone to Nicholas Conolly, a Bachelor of Wine Science student at Charles Sturt University. Originally studying local government in Sydney, Mr Conolly’s passion for the wine industry was sparked while on work experience at a winery in Orange. Mr Conolly has since relocated to South Australia where he works for Kirrihill Wines in the Clare Valley. The Sydney Royal Wine Scholarship honours the memory and contribution of Graham Thorp, Chair of the Sydney Royal Wine Committee from 1984 – 1990. RAS Foundation Executive Officer, Kate Ross, said the scholarship offers a welcome financial boost to our next generation of wine industry leaders as they strive to excel in their chosen careers. “The fact that our two 2017 scholarship recipients have chosen to relocate far from home and undertake distance studies while working in the wine industry shows a real commitment,” Ms Ross said. In 2018 the scholarship will increase to $6,000 for full time study or $3,000 towards part time study. Applications for the 2018 award open on 1 August 2017 and can be completed online through the RASF website http://www.rasnsw.com.au/foundation/scholarships-and-grants/sydney-royal-wine-scholarship/ <Ends> For further information, including high resolution images, please contact: Roger White – Manager, Public Relations M: 0478 092 425 | P: (02) 9704 1453 | E: rwhite@rasnsw.com.au About the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) Foundation: The RAS Foundation is a charitable foundation that encourages educational opportunities and helps build strong and sustainable rural and regional communities through a range of targeted grants and scholarships. Visit www.rasf.org.au for more information on the RAS Foundation. Read more

Sydney Showground named Nation’s best in Banqueting & Catering at Meetings & Events Australia (MEA) National Industry Awards

4 May 2017

Wednesday, 3 May 2017 Sydney Showground is known for big experiences and now 'big wins' taking out top honours in the Banqueting & Catering category at the Meetings & Events Australia (MEA) National Industry Awards last night. Peter Thorpe, General Manager Sydney Showground, said the award highlights the ongoing success and diversity of the venue which delivered some 294 events in 2016 through a vast array of gala dinners, conferences, exhibitions, sporting events inside Spotless Stadium "Our Chefs, Catering, Event and Operations teams are exceptionally passionate about the produce they select, highly skilled with the menus they design, and unbelievably talented at ensuring results, time after time, at every event we host," Thorpe said. "We have the greatest team of people, delivering the finest catering using the 'best of the best' from our Sydney Royal Award winners, to deliver unsurpassed event experiences for our customers," he said. Hosting 1.7 million visitors annually, Sydney Showground's award-winning venue team prides itself on welcoming guests including 930,000 visitors at the recent Sydney Royal Easter Show. The MEA Industry Awards recognise best business practice and excellence in the Meetings & Events Industry. Applicants are judged on their capacity to plan and manage resources, activities, ability to deal with extraordinary challenges, financial performance and their impact on the Meetings & Events Industry. The major event venue was also named national winner of the stand-alone MEA Corporate Social Responsibility Award acknowledging its contribution to Australian agriculture. "Sydney Showground supports the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW's mission by helping to contribute almost $7 million annually in programs designed to assist rural communities and promote agricultural excellence," Thorpe said. Last night's achievements amplify 12 months of victories across a number of major industry awards. Sydney Showground Honour Roll 2016 Winner 'Corporate Social Responsibility' MEA National Award 2016 Winner 'Banqueting & Catering' MEA National Award 2016 Winner 'Banqueting & Catering' MEA State Final 2016 Winner 'Best Achievement in Venue Management' Australian Event Awards 2015 & 2016 Voted by fans as 'Best AFL Venue for Fan Experience' 2015 Winner 'Best Venue Team' EEAA Awards Sydney Showground Fast Facts All revenue is invested directly back into supporting agriculture and rural communities in NSW (Sydney Showground is part of the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW) Located in the geographic heart of Sydney with almost half of the city's population living within 30 minutes of Sydney Showground Offers more than 20 separate and highly flexible venues across the 30-hectare site The 22,000-seat boutique Spotless Stadium is home to the GWS GIANTS, Sydney Thunder and the Wanderers Has the largest air-conditioned and column-free space in Sydney totalling 29,300m 2 across six primary exhibition halls Offers bespoke catering options from exhibitions and dinners for 100 guests to ground- breaking events for 10,000 people Constant investment in the venue has seen Spotless Stadium redeveloped, new exhibition halls built, significant Wi-Fi upgrades and installation of digital signage among other key initiatives Fu rther information, images and interview requests please contact: Roger White Manager, Public Relations T: (02) 9704 1453 M: 0478 092 425 E: rwhite@rasnsw.com.au Alison Dance Communications Coordinator T: (02) 9704 1041 E: adance@rasnsw.com.au Read more

The last 14 day Sydney Royal Easter Show attracts best crowds in more than a decade

21 Apr 2017

20 April, 2017 The final numbers have come in and have confirmed that the attendance at this year’s Sydney Royal Easter Show was the highest since 2004. The official final attendance at this year’s Show was 922,827. Before the 2017 Sydney Royal Easter Show began, the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW had a budgeted forecast of 850,000 showgoers. Prior to this the previous highest attendance was the 964,000 figure in 2004. Last year saw 753,375 people entered the gates of the Sydney Showground. The biggest daily attendances in 2017 were Good Friday 119,949 and Easter Monday 112,554. Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) Chief Executive Brock Gilmour says a number of factors combined to make the 2017 Sydney Royal Easter Show memorable; “We had the perfect combination of the Easter long weekend, the school holidays and beautiful weather,” Mr Gilmour said. “On top of that the RAS team worked extremely hard to bring a fresh feel to this year’s Show, a concentration on our heritage, our agricultural roots and our daily entertainment”. “We have received so much positive feedback from families who have said they loved the feel of this year’s Royal Easter Show and that they will definitely be coming back next year. “We went out of our way to present a product that was value for money - up to 12 hours of free entertainment, loose change food options and free activities for the kids such as the brand new simulated farm ‘little hands on the land’ - our visitors appreciated it and have commented very positively,” Mr Gilmour said. 2017 will the last 14 day Sydney Royal Easter Show, with the decision taken to return to its traditional 12 days in 2018. The Sydney Royal Easter Show was extended to 16 days when it relocated to Sydney Olympic Park from Moore Park in 1998, then was reduced to a 14 day show after the Sydney Olympics in 2000. Traditionally the Royal Easter Show’s 195 year history saw it as 12 days in duration. One of the key reasons for the change is the desire to place less burden on exhibitors, many of whom spend up to a month away from their families and farms in the lead-up to and during each Show. Next year’s Sydney Royal Easter Show will be held from Friday, March 23 until Tuesday, April 3. Ends Read more

Agriculture the hero as 2017 Sydney Royal Easter Show wraps up

19 Apr 2017

As the 2017 Sydney Royal Easter Show shuts the gates for another year, the largest crowd in more than a decade has shown that interest in where our food and fibre comes from has never been stronger. Read more

Royal Easter Show eclipses 900,000

19 Apr 2017

The largest crowd in more than a decade has relished the opportunity to experience the Sydney Royal Easter Show in 2017, with more than 900,000 people moving through the turnstiles over the past two weeks. Read more

Royal Easter Show eclipses 900,000

19 Apr 2017

19 April 2017 The largest crowd in more than a decade has relished the opportunity to experience the Sydney Royal Easter Show in 2017, with more than 900,000 people moving through the turnstiles over the past two weeks. Sabih Razvi and Mehwish Naqvi, along with their daughter Wafa Naqvi, who very recently relocated from India to Regents Park in Sydney, were delighted to be greeted by show organisers as they came through the main Show entrance and were identified as the 900,000th visitors. “We are very surprised as this is our first time here and we have only been in Australia three weeks,” Mr Razvi said. “This is amazing – what a great welcome”. A range of new attractions, including the ‘Little Hands on the Land’ kid-sized farm experience, ‘The Beast’ ride in the Carnival and ‘Lasagne on a Stick’ were teamed with traditional favourites such as the Farmyard Nursery, cattle judging, sheep shearing and a diversity of displays across the Show pavilions to further cement the event as one of the nation’s best. The Show is also the largest ticketed even in the Southern Hemisphere. General Manager Agriculture and Sydney Royal Easter Show, Murray Wilton, said the Show was overjoyed to have entertained a broad section of people from across Sydney and Australia, as well as many overseas visitors. “The numbers speak for themselves in terms of the popularity of this event and we are thrilled with this year’s result,” Mr Wilton said. “The origin of the Show lies in agriculture and showcasing the farming sector to the city and the popularity of ‘Little Hands on the Land’, the District Exhibits and the animal judging has shown just how important this is. “Of course, the Carnival, novelty food and showbags are also part of the modern show experience and, as always, this has proven popular with show-going families.” Mr Wilton said as gates are closed later today, thoughts had already turned to 2018. For further information, interview and high-res image requests please contact: James Tolmie Cox Inall Communications James.tolmie@coxinall.com.au M: 0439 991 082 Roger White PR Manager Royal Agricultural Society of NSW rwhite@rasnsw.com.au T: 02 9704 1453 Read more
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