History

In 1822, a group of Sydney's leading citizens formed the Agricultural Society of NSW with the aim of "furthering the quality of Australia's primary production by means of contests and competitions". 

 

Eleven officers were elected and the RAS staged its first Show at Parramatta the following year. At the time, Parramatta was the bread bowl of Australia, the agricultural hub of the colony, which was struggling to provide for its population of 30,000, half of them convicts.

 

Despite its initial success the RAS lapsed in 1836 due to the pressure of drought and economic depression, but re-formed in 1857. The RAS’ Shows, known at the time as Exhibitions, were held at Parramatta until 1868 and subsequently moved to Prince Alfred Park.

 

Shows continued at Prince Alfred Park until 1881, when high rent and empty coffers forced the RAS to look for a new venue.The City Council offered 40 acres of unpromising, sandy scrub at Moore Park for an annual rent of £10. With the help of the NSW Government and public subscriptions the Society built a showground, which became home to the Show for the next 115 years. 

 

In the intervening years, the Society had become the Royal Agricultural Society, an honour bestowed by Queen Victoria in 1891. 

 

While the bubonic plague did not stop the Show when it struck Sydney in 1900, the influenza epidemic of 1919 caused chaos. The Show was cancelled and Moore Park buildings were used as a temporary hospital and morgue. During World War II the Sydney Royal Easter Show was cancelled when Moore Park was requisitioned for military use, and some 700,000 troops passed through its grounds. 

 

By the late 1980s the Sydney Royal Easter Show had outgrown its Moore Park facilities. In 1994 the NSW Government approved its relocation to Sydney Olympic Park at Homebush. The first Show was held there in 1998.

 

Today the Show is Australia’s biggest annual event, injecting more than $500m into the NSW economy and attracting close to a million visitors with its entertainment, exhibitions, competitions and vivid depictions of rural life.


RAS News
Lyndey Milan OAM, Macquarie Group Sydney Royal Wine Show Committee Chair is pleased to announce award-winning British journalist and presenter, Jane Parkinson as the 2015 international wine judge.

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22 Aug 2014 
Victorian dairy company Bulla Dairy Foods (Bulla) has beaten some of Australia’s most famous farming dynasties to be named the best food producer for 2014 by the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS).

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22 Aug 2014 
Tertiary students from rural NSW will benefit from a new partnership forged between the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) Foundation and the University of New England (UNE) Foundation.

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07 Aug 2014 
A stellar team of judges will headline the upcoming Sydney Royal Beer & Cider Show at Sydney Showground, 16-17 September, 2014.

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08 Jul 2014 
The Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) is pleased to announce the appointment of Robert Ryan OAM as its new President.

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25 Jun 2014