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RAS reflects on 200 years of agricultural history and innovation in new book

Posted on : 22 February 2022

The Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) has launched a new commemorative book, at a function held today at Government House in Sydney, honouring the bicentenary of the organisation in July this year.  

Sydney Royal, celebrating 200 Years of the Royal Agricultural Society of New South Wales, celebrates the history and milestones of the RAS and the people of NSW who have affectionately embraced the RAS and Sydney Royal Easter Show for two centuries.

Written by renowned author, Gavin Fry, the commemorative book delves into the history of Australian agriculture and the incredible legacy of a 200-year organisation, and its leaders, that have worked tirelessly to support the development of agriculture and rural communities in Australia.

The book will be on sale for $75 ($50 for RAS members) via the RAS website and at the RAS’ iconic celebration of agriculture, the Sydney Royal Easter Show from 8 – 19 April 2022 in the heritage pavilion and Member’s stand.

RAS President Michael Millner saidOur story is one of courage, innovation, resilience, and sustainability. Since 1822, the RAS has been a pioneer for Australian agriculture from importing seeds of wheat, barley, and oats to funding the first testing of Thomas S. Mort’s theories for refrigerated shipment. We are one of the oldest organisations in the country – even pre-dating the New South Wales parliament by 30 years, and this house we are gathered at today by 23 years.

“Like so many in the industry we represent we have been bent but never broken… and we have survived many man-made and natural disasters including wars, droughts and pandemics. As NSW has grown and developed so too have we, and we continue to do so, proudly and with a determination to educate, inform, engage and inspire.

“The book will serve as a reminder of the hard work and commitment of all who have ever belonged to the RAS – our founders, Council, volunteers, staff, Members, supporters… and of our continued dedication to the many arms of the agricultural industry we represent.”

Writer, Gavin Fry said the Commemorative book draws on the innovation and complexities of agriculture in Australia, through the eyes and documentation of an organisation that has been there through it all.

“Given that we are telling the stories of two hundred years of our history, it was crucial that we were able to access original documents wherever possible and to source all the pictorial and graphic material essential to making a book of this breadth and complexity,” Gavin Fry said.

“It has been my privilege, not just to have written the text for this book, but to have been involved in all stages of its production and, in so doing, to become intimately acquainted with the Royal Agricultural Society and those who are responsible for taking it proudly through to its third century.”

“I am just one of many who have left their mark indelibly on this publication.”


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