Chief Executive Update - August 2021

On behalf of the RASV Board, management and staff, thank you to everyone who have sent lovely messages and correspondence to the RASV expressing support, sadness and understanding with our decision to cancel the 2021 Royal Melbourne Show. We are extremely grateful and appreciative. 

As the RASV’s annual signature event, it’s deeply disappointing that the Victorian community will not be able to come together with family and friends to enjoy the Royal Melbourne Show for the second consecutive year.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause significant disruption in planning and delivering major events. The ongoing uncertainty along with the operational constraints, challenges and risks in holding major events during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly those with large free roaming crowds, has resulted in not only the cancellation of the 2021 Royal Melbourne Show, but other major Victorian events and regional agricultural shows in recent weeks along with the Queensland and Adelaide Royal Shows.

Since making the decision to cancel the 2021 Royal Melbourne Show, we have been exploring and considering options to conduct alternative COVID Safe agricultural competitions to promote and celebrate excellence in agriculture. We continue to monitor COVID restrictions and the recent lockdown extension in metropolitan Melbourne has delayed any decision to hold agricultural competitions in 2021 at Melbourne Showgrounds or regional Victoria. I can however confirm that we are no longer considering alternative schedules this year for the horses, dogs, woodchop, alpaca and dairy competitions.

I thank and acknowledge the tremendous work of the RASV staff and our volunteers on RASV Competition Committees who have worked tirelessly in planning for the 2021 Show. The considerable work undertaken this year will greatly assist in maximising the appeal and success of the 2022 Royal Melbourne Show.

Thank you to those of you who chose to remain financial members of the RASV for 2021, despite the cancellation of the 2021 Royal Melbourne Show. Your membership during these challenging times for the RASV is highly valued and very much appreciated.

The Royal Melbourne Show has only been cancelled on two occasions prior to 2020. First, when Melbourne Showgrounds was requisitioned for the war effort in 1915 and again during WWII between 1940-1945. I do take great comfort from the knowledge that the first Royal Melbourne Show after WWII attracted a record attendance. We all look forward to history repeating itself in 2022 when the Royal Melbourne Show returns bigger and better. It should be amazing - it will be three years in the making!

The cancellation of the 2021 Royal Melbourne Show does enable the COVID-19 testing facility to remain operational at Melbourne Showgrounds during September and October. The testing facility at Melbourne Showgrounds is proudly recognised as the biggest and best in Victoria, operating in two pavilions, and testing up to 3000 people per day.  

In addition to COVID testing onsite, the vaccination hub is also attracting a significant number of visitors to Melbourne Showgrounds. The vaccination centre at Melbourne Showgrounds is operational 7 days a week from 8am to 8pm with free car parking onsite.

Despite all the challenges of the COVID pandemic, the RASV has received record entries for the Australian International Coffee Awards and the Australian Distilled Spirit Awards this year. Both of these award programs will be judged in September this year with presentation of trophy winners in October and November respectively.

In addition, entries are currently open for the 2021 Royal Melbourne Wine Awards (RMWA) with judging scheduled from 11-15 October at Melbourne Showgrounds. Long standing RMWA Committee member, Tom Carson recently resigned from the committee after serving eight years. I thank Tom for his significant contribution to the RMWA as a member of the RMWA Committee over the past eight years, particularly as RMWA Chair of Judges in 2014, 2016 and 2017. Tom will continue to judge at the Royal Melbourne Wine awards.

The 2021 RASV Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held online on Tuesday 31 August to ensure the health and safety of our members. Notice of the AGM has been sent out to all RASV “Voting Members” inclusive of details of how to register to attend the AGM online. Should you have any queries regarding the AGM, please do not hesitate to email 

We continue to live and work in extraordinary times with a high degree of uncertainty and your ongoing support, understanding, patience and encouragement is very much appreciated. 

I trust you will enjoy reading the latest news from the RASV and I look forward to keeping you well informed. In the meantime, take care and please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any queries.

Brad Jenkins
Chief Executive Officer