top of page
pitt street building.jpeg

2023  Australian Tea
Cultural Seminar

Committed to Culture & Community 

AUSTCS welcomes you to

The second seminar of the 2023 Tri-City series is Sydney.

Venue for the 2022 Australian Tea Cultural Fair & Seminar, Sydney hosted a very unique weekend of tea and culture. Which is why the city's AUSTCS TEAm members are so excited to welcome you back again in 2023.


Each Tri-City Seminar has the same core content, with an additional unique

local segment to add individuality to its seminar.

WHEN    |   WHERE    |    VENUE


Saturday 21st October 2023

Seminar 10.00am until 3.00pm

Emporium 3.00pm until 4.30pm

Open from 9.30am until 4.30pm full day


Sydney Seminar 

Sydney Mechanics School of Arts

Level 1

280 Pitt Street


NSW   2000


Sydney Mechanics School of Arts

SMSA Street Image.JPG

The Sydney Mechanics School of Art (SMSA), located on Sydney's famous Pitt Street

is a CBD institution close to the junction with Bathurst Street. 


​The SMSA operates the longest-running continuous lending library in Australia,

and is home to the Tom Keneally Centre. Since 1833, the Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts has made a major contribution to Sydney’s culture, industry, society and politics.

Which makes it the perfect home for the AUSTCS 2023 Seminar.


The first level of the building is home to the Lawson Meeting Rooms, a large 'L' shaped room with modern facilities, while at the same time maintaining a sense of tradition.

How To Get There?

  • Light Rail: Randwick Line (L2) or Kingsford Line (L3) – Get off at Town Hall or QVB

  • Train: The nearest train station is either Town Hall or Museum, depending on which line you are travelling.

  • Bus: Park St Buses – Get off at Town Hall or QVBE or for Elizabeth St buses – Get off at Hyde Park opposite Bathurst St.

  • Cars: Checkout car parking websites for Saturday special deals.  


  • 9.30: Doors Open

  • 10.00: Seminar commences and opening address

  • 10.15: The Ceramic Cup Presentation by the 2023 winning potter, opening of the cups followed by the first Welcome by Tea

  • 11.00: AUSTCS update followed by second Welcome by Tea

  • 12.00 noon: 30-minute break for lunch

  • 12.30: International Presentation by CCCFNA with Live Q&A from China

  • 1.15: Third Welcome by Tea (final session)

  • 1.35: Tea, Culture and Conversation

  • 2.40: Closing address

  • 3.00: Volunteer Tea Brewers' Emporium opens

  • 4.30: Volunteer Tea Brewers' Emporium closes

  • 4.30: 2023 Sydney Seminar ends


King Street Mei Quong Tart.jpg

Join us for an enlightening talk on Sydney tea cultural history from the time of Mei Quong Tart's early tearooms and our deep Chinese connections to Australia's first official chanoyu practitioner. This broad oral history will have you looking at tea in Sydney from a new perspective.

  • Charlie Chow

  • Raymond Leung

  • Julian McVittie

Charlie Chow.jpg
Raymond Leung - Copy.jpg
Julian McVittie photo.png
Charlie Chow 

Born and raised in Hong Kong and currently living in Sydney, Charlie Chow is a recent History Honours graduate from the University of Sydney.

Her honours thesis was on

a gastronomic approach to the History of Cantonese Migration in the US and Australia.

Her favourite tea is a two-way tie between Xiao Ye Gan and lemongrass tea.

Raymond Leung 

Founder of Zensation Teahouse, Raymond Leung is a designer by craft but also one of Sydney's foremost advocates for Chinese culture.

His major contribution has been the initiative behind the city's Lunar New Year celebrations – the largest outside Asia.

Julian McVittie 

In 1973, Rosaleen McVittie opened the first Japanese teahouse in Australia, practising the Urasenke chanoyu tradition.

Her son Julian McVittie will talk about her legacy and the influence of Grand Master Dr Genshitsu Sen. Julian works as a lawyer and is also a chanoyu practitioner.

Become a Volunteer
Tea Brewer 

'Welcome by Tea' has been a ritual showcased at the Australian Tea Cultural Seminar since its very beginnings at the Canberra Seminar in 2017. For many the ritual has certainly become a favourite part of the seminar program. It gives those partaking a chance to sip, listen and learn about a beautiful tea,

while getting to know fellow delegates.


This much-loved ritual would however not be possible without the Volunteer Tea Brewers. The brewers choose, brew and share a tea which reflects them in some way. Maybe their business, their heritage, a favourite brew,

- the choice is up to the them.


At the Welcome by Tea sessions, the volunteer hosts brew their tea and share it with those around their table, while at the same time explaining why they chose the tea, how they are brewing the tea and how to best enjoy the tea.

The brewers bring along their own tea enough for three Welcome by Tea sessions,- and their preferred brewing equipment and accessories. AUSTCS will arrange hot water, which is delivered to the table in sealed thermos jugs for safety. The water used by AUSTCS will be filtered and heated. No cups are required, as the delegates will use their own 2023 AUSTCS ceramic cup, which will have been presented to them earlier. Prepare for six or seven delegates at each table per session. Delegates can change tables at various times.

Which is why we arrange three separate Welcome by Tea sessions.


Consider being one of the 2023 Volunteer Tea Brewers!


This year we are also offering our brewers a new opportunity in the form of an Emporium, which will give each host the chance to sell teas and some simple accessories at the end of the day in

a mini market stall experience.

To find out more about this unique opportunity, contact David Lyons at



Full Seminar Package - cost $90

This package includes:

  • All day access to the Sydney seminar 

  • Handmade AUSTCS 2023 cup

  • Participate in the 'Welcome by Tea' ritual 

  • Official 2023 seminar program

  • Local segment TBC

  • AUSTCS membership

  • 2023/24 voting rights at the AGM, including participation in the TEAm.

If you are a current AUSTCS member/donor who is eligible for a member’s discount; please contact us if you have not already received your offer via email.

2023 Sponsor & Supporters

2023 Sydney Supporter

East Forged on White.JPG

If you or your company would like to find out more about becoming 

a 2023 Sponsor of this event or you would like to assist AUSTCS by supporting us in presenting this event.

Please contact David Lyons - 

bottom of page