Donald, Victoria

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Main street passing through Donald
Donald is located in Shire of Buloke
Coordinates36°18′57″S 142°57′09″E / 36.3157°S 142.9526°E / -36.3157; 142.9526Coordinates: 36°18′57″S 142°57′09″E / 36.3157°S 142.9526°E / -36.3157; 142.9526
Population1,498 (2016 census)[1]
Elevation114 m (374 ft)
LGA(s)Shire of Buloke
State electorate(s)Ripon, Western Victoria
Federal Division(s)Mallee
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
27.3 °C
81 °F
8.8 °C
48 °F
366.7 mm
14.4 in

Donald is a town in Victoria, Australia, located on the Richardson River, at the junction of Sunraysia Highway and Borung Highway, in the Shire of Buloke. At the 2016 census, it had a population of 1,498.[1]


The town is named after William Donald, a Scottish pastoralist who was the first settler in the area in 1844. At the 2011 census, Donald had a population of 1,693.[1] The earliest township was known as Richardson Bridge until surveyed as Donald in 1866. The Donald Post Office opened on 1 August 1870 [2] replacing that of nearby Mount Jeffcott which had operated since 1860.

The town grew steadily boosted by the closer settlement of the surrounding countryside and the arrival of the railway in 1882.[3]

Sir Albert Dunstan, Premier of Victoria 1935-43, was born in Donald in July 1882.

On 26 September 2006, Donald was the scene of the Borung Highway collision in which seven people died.[4]

Donald has been a victim of several floods in recent years, with the most severe in January 2011. Major floods also occurred in August 1909, 1918, 1956, 1975 and 1992. Contrarily, the area suffered a major drought period in the 1990s and 2000s, significantly impacting the community which primarily relies on crop farming to survive.

Sports and activities[edit]

Donald has a local newspaper called the Buloke Times which is published each Tuesday and Friday, focusing on local events in the Buloke area, with an emphasis on sporting achievements.

The town hosts a 3-day lawn tennis championship on Labour Day weekend. It has an annual show on the Friday and Saturday of the 2nd week of October, and hosts Off Road Racing Australia's annual event the Donald 500 in April.

Donald has a field hockey club, an Australian Rules Football club called the Donald Royal Blues and a netball club named the Donald Netball Club, all competing in the North Central Football League, the region's major sports league. The horse racing club, the Wimmera Racing Club, schedules around six race meetings a year at Donald including the Donald Cup meeting in November.[5]

Golfers play at the Donald Golf Club on Golf Links Road.[6]


Recently the township bid on one of three faux fish used in the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth games ceremony and was successful.

An attraction in the township is the Bullock's Head Tree, a tree which has a growth on it in the shape of a head of a bullock. Though this was badly damaged in a storm, with the top of the tree falling down, it was re-erected using a metal pole and concrete. Waterskiing and camping facilities are available at the nearby Lake Batyo Catyo.


The Mildura railway line passes through Donald, but only freight services run on it. Donald railway station was closed in 1993, one hundred years after it opened.[7] Buses run through Donald daily from major centres such as Ballarat and Melbourne.


  1. ^ a b c Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Donald (State Suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 15 October 2018. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ Premier Postal History, Post Office List, retrieved 2008-04-11
  3. ^ Donald the heart of Victoria, History of Donald, retrieved 2008-05-30
  4. ^ Country crash claims seven lives
  5. ^ Country Racing Victoria, Wimmera Racing at Donald, archived from the original on July 19, 2008, retrieved 2009-05-07
  6. ^ Golf Select, Donald, retrieved 2009-05-11
  7. ^ "VR timeline". Mark Bau’s VR Website. Archived from the original on 2008-05-30. Retrieved 2012-06-07.

External links[edit]

Media related to Donald, Victoria at Wikimedia Commons