About the RNA
The Royal National Agricultural and Industrial Association of Queensland (RNA) is committed to celebrating and championing agriculture and the essential role it plays in the everyday lives of Queenslanders.
We do this by showcasing and rewarding the very best of the best in agriculture through our Royal Queensland Show (Ekka) and Royal Queensland Awards (RQA) competitions.
Our education programs and promotions are also designed to advocate for agriculture and reflect the association’s core charter.
The RNA has been committed to ensuring the community recognises the vital role agriculture plays in everyday life since 1875.
Who We Are
The Royal National Agricultural and Industrial Association of Queensland (RNA) is a member based not-for-profit organisation governed by 21 RNA Councillors. An executive team of seven, including the RNA President, is responsible for overseeing the operations of the association which owns and operates the Brisbane Showgrounds, situated 1.5 kilometres from Brisbane's central business district.
The organisation's charter is to celebrate and champion the essential role agriculture plays in the everyday lives of Queenslanders.
The RNA runs the Royal Queensland Show (Ekka), Queensland's largest event, on behalf of the community for nine days each year in August. Staged at its original birthplace, the Brisbane Showgrounds, the Ekka showcases its unique tradition and heritage by bringing the city and country together for a once a year get-together. On average 400,000 people gather to see thousands of exhibits, 10,000 animals, world-class entertainment and taste award-winning food and wine.
The RNA is committed to providing first class educational activities and facilities for visitors during Ekka and throughout the year. Since 1876, millions of students have savoured an educational smorgasbord rich in tradition offering unique curriculum based learning. With competitions for students to enter, animals to see, learning trail points and many interactive hands-on activities, the Ekka is Queensland's largest classroom. Visit our Education page on the Ekka website to view the educational activities and competitions run during and outside of Ekka.
Along with the iconic Ekka, the organisation runs the Royal Queensland Awards (RQA), a series of six individual competitions unearthing the best produce in Australia. Since 2009, the RQA has nurtured innovation and excellence in the Queensland and Australian food and beverage sectors by providing a comprehensive food, wine and beer awards program which helps Australian producers benchmark and promote their products.
The historic Brisbane Showgrounds is also a venue business which hosts more than 250 events each year from music festivals to corporate functions and gala dinners, and is home to the state-of-the-art Royal International Convention Centre.
History of the RNA
The Royal National Agricultural and Industrial Association of Queensland (RNA) was established in 1875 with Governor Sir William Cairns as its President.
Bowen Park was chosen in January 1876 as the site for the first Show. The 'Intercolonial Exhibition of 1876', held from August 22-26 proved a great success. A public holiday was declared and an estimated 15,000-17,000 people attended the opening day - a great feat at a time when the total population of Brisbane was just 20,600.
The first 'Royal' Show was held in 1921, when the Association was granted the prefix under warrant from His Majesty King George V. Since then, the shortened name 'Ekka' has replaced 'Exhibition' in the Queensland vernacular.
The Ekka continues to be Queensland's biggest and most anticipated yearly event and continues to achieve its aim of connecting Queenslanders of all ages - from the country to the city and from all walks of life.
To learn more about our historical timeline CLICK HERE.