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
Rural and regional community groups have just two weeks left to apply to win a kitchen valued at $30,000 through the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) Foundation Community Kitchen Grant.

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20 Jan 2015 
The newly awarded medal and trophy winning wines from the 2015 Macquarie Group Sydney Royal Wine Show, Australia’s premier wine competition, will once again be the feature attraction at the Sydney Royal Wine Experience.

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20 Jan 2015 
The Poultry Committee of the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) is proud to announce that it will be hosting the 2016 Sydney Royal National Poultry Show at the Sydney Showground over the Queen’s Birthday weekend Thursday 9 - Sunday 12 June 2016.

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13 Jan 2015 
Brown Brothers 2013 Cellar Door Release Montepulciano has been named Australia’s best Other Red Varietal by the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS).

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07 Jan 2015 
House of Arras’ 2004 Grand Vintage has been named Tasmania’s best wine by the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS).

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16 Dec 2014 
Are you looking for the perfect Christmas gift? Beat the last minute rush and hop online to purchase a gift voucher to the Sydney Royal Wine Experience.

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15 Dec 2014 
McLeish Estate’s 2007 Semillon has been named the Hunter Valley’s best Semillon by the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS).

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01 Dec 2014 
A kitchen valued at $30,000 courtesy of Masters Home Improvement is on offer to rural and regional NSW communities as part of the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) Foundation Community Kitchen Grant.

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26 Nov 2014