CWA of NSW celebrates 75 years of Devonshire Teas and advocacy at Sydney’s Royal Easter Show

After marking its centenary at last year’s Sydney Royal Easter Show, the Country Women’s Association (CWA) of NSW is celebrating another milestone this year, with the 75th anniversary of its much-loved Tea Room.

This year’s Show starts on Thursday, April 6, and runs through until Monday, April 17, with the CWA Tea Room to be run by up to 250 volunteers during this period, who will be serving up an average of 4000 scones each day, starting cooking at 6.30am and not finishing until after 4.30pm in the afternoon.  

It was in 2017 - when the show still went for 14 days - the CWA achieved the milestone of 53,872 scones sold, and the following year there was a record-high 5125 scones sold in a day. Since the show was reduced to 12 days, the record stands at 49,977. Could 2023 be another record-setting year?

On the opening day of this year’s show, at 3pm, CWA of NSW Tea Room volunteers will hold a special afternoon tea to mark the 75th anniversary of an initiative all about fundraising. In 1947, the Metropolitan Group of the CWA of NSW purchased the kiosk at the Royal Agricultural Society showground at Moore Park with an aim of raising money for the association. The Tea Room was later moved to an indoor location and in 1998, got a new base at Homebush within the Home & Lifestyle Pavilion where it’s been ever since.

In the 75 years since members first started selling their now famous Devonshire Teas, the Tea Room has become the association’s major fundraising event for the year, raising as much as $120,000 to $140,000 annually.  

“Our Tea Room has become such a big part of the Royal Easter Show, with so many patrons putting one of our Devonshire Teas on their list of ‘things to do’ at the show each year. To celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2023 is such a special occasion and we look forward to celebrating with the Tea Room visitors who have contributed so much to our fundraising efforts over the years,” said CWA of NSW President Joy Beames.  

“It’s become a great meeting place, too, where friends and family make a time each year to catch up over a scone and cup of tea, but equally many of our volunteers have developed lasting friendships with other volunteers and look forward to reuniting annually at the show.”

Manildra is one of the major sponsors of the Tea Room, donating 2.5 tonnes of scone mix, with Dubbo business Little Big Dairy donating all the double cream, Nestle the coffee and hot chocolate, Pepe Saya the butter and Sunshine Sugar donates the sugar sticks for the tea and coffee.

Joy said some members had been volunteering at the Tea Room for as long as 30 years with a number of volunteers in their 80s still putting up their hand to help.


Media are welcome to visit the Tea Room throughout the show, and are welcome to attend the 75th anniversary afternoon tea at 3pm on Thursday, April 6, where President Joy Beames, and other dignitaries, will be in attendance. If you’re interested in attending or have any questions, please call Kylie Galbraith on 0411 480 208.