Chief Executive Update - October 2020

We approach mid-October with renewed optimism as we look forward to the ongoing easing of COVID restrictions.   

As we wait for the restrictions to ease, we continue to celebrate and promote agriculture by innovating and successfully delivering events and competitions online.  

The Royal Melbourne Show is a much-loved iconic event and although Victorians were unable to attend this year, we were delighted by the response and support we received in Celebrating the Show Online.   

A key part of the program was devoted to celebrating and acknowledging many of the amazing volunteers, members, exhibitors, sponsors and patrons who help bring the Show to life each year.  

I thank everyone who contributed to Celebrating the Show Online and make special mention to the following: 

  • Our Show online Ambassador, Lyndsey Douglas for the wonderful job she did in interviewing competitors, exhibitors and Show fans
  • Oli Le Lievre from Humans of Agriculture for hosting a special podcast series that included interviews with six Royal Melbourne Show personalities
  • Those who were interviewed and shared stories about their affiliation with the Royal Melbourne Show 
  • The messages of support received from the Governor of Victoria, Honourable Linda Dessau AC, Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Sally Capp and many   
  • The sponsors and supporters including RACV, Spotlight, Tuffrock, Brighter, Black Hawk, Nutrien Ag Solutions, VicForests, Woolworths, Coffex Coffee Roasters and the Union Street Traders.   

Celebrating the Show Online provided us with a valuable opportunity to promote regional Victorian farmers and producers and support “Click for Vic”. The RASV will continue to support this initiative that encourages people to purchase produce from the regions and have it delivered direct to their door.

It was wonderful to see the significant interest and engagement with people remembering and sharing what they love about the Royal Melbourne Show. It is a Victorian event like no other and once again, I thank you for your tremendous contribution in helping us in Celebrating the Show Online.

RASV Hoof and Hook Competition  

The RASV was delighted to recently provide agricultural schools and tertiary institutions, along with beef cattle breeders, the opportunity to enter the inaugural Hoof and Hook Competition in 2020.

This competition was created to enable students to continue preparing their livestock and importantly complete their curriculum obligations, despite the cancellation of the 2020 Royal Melbourne Show Beef Carcase competition.

We were thrilled by the positive response and support for the new Hoof and Hook Competition with 135 entrants from 35 exhibitors, including 11 agricultural schools and tertiary institutions.  In a year that has caused immense disruption to many, especially to the many schools and colleges involved in the competition, it is wonderful to provide a platform to promote and celebrate excellence in agriculture.

The ‘hoof’ component of the Hoof and Hook Competition was held in the regional Victorian town of Yea and on behalf of the RASV, I thank the Murrindindi Shire Council and the committee of the Yea Saleyards for their support in providing the use of their terrific facilities. 

With the assessment of the carcases complete, we were pleased to share the full results of the competition via a livestream on Thursday 8th October.

There are a number of prestigious awards associated with the Hoof and Hook Competition, but none more so than the Borthwick Trophy, awarded by the RASV since 1953.   

It was terrific to see the Australian Shorthorn breed declared the 2020 champions and incredibly, even after almost 70 years, this is the first time the breed has won the award that recognises the highest scoring team of three purebred steers.

I extend my congratulations to the Wagga Wagga Christian College and Tim Weller for their brilliant preparation that saw their steer announced as the Grand Champion Carcase for 2020, with Wagga Wagga Christian College also being awarded the Bott-Burston Perpetual Trophy as the Most Successful School or College Exhibitor.

I congratulate all of the winners and encourage those interested in the full results to review the catalogue available on the RASV website.

It would not have been possible for the RASV to develop and deliver such a successful agricultural competition without the fabulous support of so many and I sincerely thank: 

  • Our Beef Cattle Committee of David Bolton (Chair), David Spencer, Sam Nelson, Garry Turnham, Duncan Newcomen, Noleen Branson, Allen Snaith and Cindy Coad  
  • The 35 exhibitors, 11 of which were schools and tertiary institutions 
  • The many sponsors and supporters, without whom the event would not have been possible. 
  • Those who volunteered to assist throughout the event, with a special mention to Aimee Bolton for her assistance in finalising the carcase grid results.  
  • Judge, Geordie Elliot & Announcer, Alistair Brook 
  • RASV staff in particular Steve Taylor, Catherine Shelley, Ashley Lamers and Glenn Goodwin for their tremendous efforts at Yea. 

Annual General Meeting 

I am pleased to report that our 2019/20 AGM was successfully held online this year on Tuesday 29 September. Thank you to all those members who registered and attended the meeting online and congratulations to Noelene King OAM and Darrin Grimsey who were both re-elected as Directors of the RASV. 

Melbourne Showgrounds 

The challenges of COVID-19 have inspired innovation and new ways to deliver events and food and agricultural programs. Based on the feedback we have received, I expect that many events and exhibitions will be presented as a hybrid experience in the future, that is offering an online and in-person experience.

The Virtual Studio established at Melbourne Showgrounds with Encore Event Technologies is ideal for live streaming of events, recording presentations, internal video messages, online awards nights, AGMs, educational webinars and much more. 

In the unprecedented times that the events industry is facing with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Virtual Studio at Melbourne Showgrounds provides a great option to cater for a variety of webinars and presentations, allowing businesses to reach virtual audiences on a scale unachievable in the standard format. 

I am pleased to confirm that the COVID-19 testing site remains operational at Melbourne Showgrounds. Should you need to be tested, the testing site is an option that is open 9.00am-4.45pm daily.

In closing, I look forward to the continuous improvement in the outlook as COVID restrictions ease over the coming weeks and being able to hold and host events and exhibitions at Melbourne Showgrounds in the near future.

In the meantime, thank you for your ongoing support and take care.


Brad Jenkins 

Chief Executive Officer