Chief Executive Update - November 2020

There is renewed optimism in November with the relaxing of COVID restrictions. It is fabulous that we can once again catch up with family and friends, enjoy dining out and travel between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria. 

This optimism is reflected in the events sector and I am pleased to advise that the interest and enquiries to hold events and exhibitions at Melbourne Showgrounds is beginning to grow again.

The value of Melbourne Showgrounds as Victoria’s largest and most versatile indoor outdoor venue is evident with the variety of activities currently onsite and those planned to be onsite in the coming months.

One of these exciting new activations is a drive-in cinema featuring Disney movies that will operate at Melbourne Showgrounds throughout December.

In addition to Melbourne Showgrounds being a COVID-19 testing site, the venue was used as the vote counting centre for the Victorian Local Government elections.

Congratulations to Melbourne Lord Mayor, Sally Capp for her successful re-election and on behalf of the RASV, I wish her well for the next four years. Sally has been a wonderful supporter of the RASV we look forward to the Lord Mayor being part of our celebrations at the 2021 Royal Melbourne Show.

Australian Distilled Spirits Awards

Despite all the challenges of 2020 the RASV was pleased to announce the winners of the 2020 Australian Distilled Spirits Awards (ADSA) on Thursday 12 November. Held as a virtual presentation for the first time, the 2020 ADSA were broadcast online from Melbourne Showgrounds Encore Studio. There were 14 trophies awarded throughout the presentation with Never Never Distilling Co. from McLaren Vale, South Australia winning industry’s most prestigious award - Champion Australian Distiller.

The ADSA were originally postponed in March, but through the great support from the Australian Distillers Association and our own Industry Advisory Group, we innovated our approach to conduct the entire three-day judging program online.

Since commencing in 2015, the interest and growth of the ADSA has been extraordinary and this year there were a record 619 entries from 162 distilleries - an 80% increase on 2019.

I congratulate and thank the ADSA Industry Advisory Group members Stuart Gregor, Sebastian Raeburn, Cameron Syme and our Head Judge Sebastian Costello who led the team of 41 judges to award a record 14 trophies, 51 gold, 204 silver and 204 bronze medals to distilleries throughout Australia.

Our Showgrounds, Our Future

The planning process for Our Showgrounds, Our Future continues to progress well and you are now invited to provide further valuable feedback on the proposed vision for the site.

The proposed vision has taken into consideration the feedback that we received from the first stage of community and stakeholder consultation in June.

We would welcome and value further feedback and we invite you to join a webinar on Wednesday 18 November 2020 from 6:30pm-8:00pm. To register online simply visit Our Showgrounds, Our Future.

RASV Staffing Update

It is great sadness that I acknowledge the recent sudden passing of our dear friend and RASV colleague Sarah Clarence. As Commercial Sales Manager, Sarah was responsible for the acquisition and management of all retail exhibitors at the Royal Melbourne Show. Sarah was highly talented and had incredible energy and enthusiasm that made her very popular. Sarah will be always remembered and profoundly missed by all at the RASV.

To close on a happier note, the RASV was delighted to have Elizabeth (Lizzie) Kelly join the organisation as part of a two-week graduate placement program. Lizzie was a wonderful contributor to a number of departments and projects. Earlier this year, Lizzie was announced as the recipient of the RASV Marcus Oldham Scholarship, which provided a study bursary for her final year at Marcus Oldham College.

I trust you enjoy reading the articles in this edition of RASV News.

Thank you for your ongoing support and take care.

Brad Jenkins

Chief Executive Officer