Who We Are
The Australian Tea Cultural Seminar (AUSTCS) is an organisation that runs events to support the development of tea culture in Australia.
To promote a distinctive Australian tea culture at a local and international level.
To identify the cultural foundation of tea consumption in Australia and bring together the tea community to foster its development until it is recognised and accepted in Australia and abroad.
We recognise that the tea industry cannot exist without the tea community.
We understand that tea culture is a combination of society, industry and education and seek to address these elements in our mission.
We endeavour to achieve our vision for the whole tea community, without favour.
Australia is possibly the world’s most multicultural country and, many would say, the most multiculturally successful community. Australian styles and cultures have been adopted, appropriated and tweaked in other realms, such as food, wine, beer and coffee, which have come from a wide variety of countries and the cultural backgrounds of the people who now call Australia home. Where does tea fit in?
The Australian tea community comprises not just of tea businesses but enthusiasts, growers and producers, members of the hospitality industry, representatives from the education sector and those from the traditional and alternative health professions.
We consider our people, anyone and everyone who believes in a vibrant future for leaf tea consumption in Australia.
Meet the TEAm
David Lyons brings his passion for tea culture and lifelong learning to the Australian Tea Cultural Seminar community. He provides education and consulting services via his business,18ThirtyFour, and serves as a de facto Australian tea ambassador as a member of the China International Tea Institute – Hangzhou.
James Lyons adds wisdom from the corporate marketing environment to the tea cultural journey. With his background in digital media and marketing, James provides a modern approach to tea.
Kaishan Mellis is the founder of Libertea at Prahran Market, Melbourne, and runs the Melbourne Tea Meetup. Under her father’s influence she has been steeped in Chinese tea from childhood, growing up in a home decorated with lines of clay pots full of pu’er cakes and shelves full of Yixing teapots.
Samantha Brown is the owner of The Art of Tea in Hobart, a regular stall at Salamanca Market – where she engages directly with a diverse range of customers to promote the health and enjoyment aspects of tea – and a Tasmanian tea brand associated with the state’s most iconic attractions including MONA (Museum of Old and New Art), Pennicott Wilderness Journeys and Bridestowe Lavender Estate.
An important role within the AUSTCS TEAm is that of Administration Secretary, keeping the other AUSTCS TEAm members in order and administering business of meetings. Olivia took up the duties of this role in 2018, bringing with her important skills and certainly fulfilling those duties with passion.
By day, Olivia works as an IT and Business Project Consultant. She spends a lot of her time helping teams work better together, facilitating communication, and understanding customers. She makes sure to take time out for herself, with either a good cup of tea or a glass of wine.