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Governor and Mr Howard at the Opening of the Royal Melbourne Show 2017
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A Message to the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria

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As Patron of the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria, I was sad to receive the news that the 2020 Royal Melbourne Show has had to be cancelled. I know that some 450,000 people who usually attend this iconic event, and all those connected with it, will be sharing my sense of disappointment. 

The Show, the largest community event in Victoria, has been a significant part of our State’s landscape for 165 years, during which – until now – it has only been cancelled for the war effort in World War I and World War II. 

This time, it is in order to face a different challenge: a global pandemic. As difficult as the decision must have been, the RASV has acted to ensure the health and safety of the community, including the vast number of volunteers who generously contribute their time each year.

Whilst this year we will not be able to enjoy the showcase of Victoria’s agriculture and all the exhibitions, entertainment, performances and hospitality of the Show, my husband Tony and I, along with all Victorians, look forward to supporting its return in 2021.

In the meantime, we acknowledge what a tough year it has been for so many of our farmers and communities in regional Victoria, with the devastating fires that raged through summer, followed by all the uncertainties of COVID-19. At the same time, we extend our gratitude to all Victoria’s farmers for ensuring that the bounty of Victorian produce has continued to reach us during this challenging time.