The McDonald family has a long association with rural Australia dating back to 1827 and the first shipment of cattle to Tasmania. The current MDH aggregation of properties was founded by A.J. (Jim) McDonald who searched for cattle country around Cloncurry in the 1940s.
Jim McDonald purchased Brightlands Station in 1946 after deciding the sugar industry was encroaching on his pastoral holdings around Proserpine. Over the next 60 years the family acquired properties strategically located throughout Queensland to drought proof the cattle operation.
The McDonald family still live and work on the founding property Brightlands and nearby Devoncourt Station.
The McDonald family still live and work on the founding property Brightlands and nearby Devoncourt Station. If you ever contact MDH, there’s a good chance a member of the family will be on the other side of the phone talking to you.
Sticking true to our values and passions, we pride ourselves on our point of difference in the cattle industry. MDH isn’t a company with glamorous offices in highrises, and our boardroom discussions can happen around a table, or under a tree near a set of cattle-yard with equal effect. We’re at our best when we’re out on our properties, working together.
MDH’s land aggregation is spread across 14 properties in Queensland, covering an area of 3.36million hectares. With nearly two centuries of history in the pastoral industry, the McDonald family know the importance of looking after the land.
MDH’s operations embrace the principles of ecologically sustainable land management. MDH recognise that a healthy, diverse and resilient landscape is essential if beef production is to remain viable in Australia.
In recognition of the sound environmental stewardship displayed by MDH and the significant natural values protected, the Queensland Government partnered with MDH to protect 890,000 hectares (26% of MDH land) as Nature Refuge: a class of Private Protected Area.
As well as targeted control of weeds, feral animals, and wetland protection, the land serves as critical habitat for threatened Australian species, including the endangered night parrot, plains wanderer, Gouldian finch, Carpentaria grasswren and the Julia Creek dunnart, as well as vulnerable species including the kowari, purple-necked rock wallaby and the flatback sea turtle.