Mr Robert Beggs AM

Steering the Melbourne Royal Show through tough economic times

The early 1990s presented tough times for the agricultural industry, but the passion and dedication exhibited by Mr Robert Beggs AM saw the Melbourne Royal Show through the other side.

As a third generation farmer from a wool growing property outside Ballarat, Robert Beggs had ‘no doubt’ that agriculture ran in his blood.

He began his long service with the Melbourne Royal Show during his school days, spending much time showing sheep and cattle, and in 1977, joined the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria Council.

Robert served first as vice-president and then president from 1990-93, leading the RASV through one of the worst recessions in Australian history. The unfavourable economic conditions led to Robert chairing a new sub-committee that aimed to strengthen the financial position of the Society. He became a strong advocate for developing major plans to improve the Showgrounds and felt strongly about redirecting focus to the Show’s agricultural roots.

Perhaps his most enduring feat was the introduction of the President’s Medal, which honoured the contributions of dedicated individuals to the Show Society. The President’s Medal remains a steadfast tradition to this day.

For his service to the wool industry and the Melbourne Royal Show, Robert was inscribed as a member of the Order of Australia in 1992. He passed away in 2019.

Robert Beggs. Image source: Melbourne Royal Heritage Collection.

Robert Beggs. Image source: Melbourne Royal Heritage Collection.