Greeks take home coveted blue ribbons at Melbourne Royal Show

Christina Despoteris told Neos Kosmos she felt privileged to be named an Honorary Life Member by the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria. Photo: Supplied


2022’s Melbourne Royal Show has just come to an end but not without a run of recognition for members of our Greek community.

Formerly known as the Royal Melbourne Show until its rebranding this year, it’s been run by the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RAS) since 1848 with few interruptions.

During the first and second world wars, the show grounds were requisitioned for military use and as a result it was not held.

There was no interruption from that time until the COVID-19 crisis when the iconic gathering experienced a two-year hiatus between 2020 and 2021.

But now on the tail end of COVID the celebration of Victorian excellence has made a return to the city.

Over 500,000 people attended the show over 11 days at this year’s event with a record setting for day one attendance.

Rosemary Tzovlas took home two of the coveted blue ribbons for their first-place entries in the Preserves competition.

It was her sweet chilli sauce that wowed judges for the savoury sauce award and her Seville orange marmalade took the top spot for the household marmalade award.

Rosemary Tzovlas took home two first place ribbons for her savoury sweet chilli sauce and Seville orange marmelade. She also took third place for her Cara Cara orange marmelade. Photo: Supplied

Rosemary also received a third-place ribbon for her Cara Cara orange marmalade.

“My mother was a show cook in South Australia,” Rosemary told Neos Kosmos.

“It’s something I’ve grown up doing since my teens. It’s fun, it’s challenging and it pushes you to be as good as you possibly can be.”

Rosemary runs Bendigo Fine Foods with her husband Angelos, a small home-based commercial kitchen that presents at farmers markets in the Macedon ranges four times a month.

“I’m very passionate about the quality of my products, there are no additives, no preservatives,” she says.

Nicholas Antoniou, a student at St. Monica’s College, also took first place for their Anzac biscuits in the Junior competition.

Student Nicholas Antoniou was awarded first place for his Anzac biscuits in the junior competition. Photo: Supplied

Christina Despoteris OAM was awarded an honorary life membership by the RAS. A prestigious award reserved for individual members who have provided exceptional, loyal and outstanding service to the society and show over an extended period.

“I visited the show many times with my parents and school, but my first official connection with the Art & Craft Competition was when I entered a nightie which I had made in the Home Economics class at school. I got a Highly Commended Award for my efforts.” Christina said.

Christina has been a member of the Art, Craft & Cookery Competition since 2005.

“The Melbourne Royal Show is many things to many Victorians. To me, it is a major Melbourne event that I have been involved with for over 50 years. I have made many friends and have associated with some very talented people. I am proud of my Greek heritage and honoured to serve such a prestigious organisation and humbled by the recognition of Honorary Life Membership.” Christina concluded.

The Melbourne Royal Show will celebrate its 175-year anniversary when it returns on September 21 next year.