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A rural township of some 1,700 people, Donald has served the local farming community since it was first established in the 1860s. The town was built around the property of Scottish pastoralist William McDonald who settled there in 1844.

The McDonald property was the social centre for the people of the surrounding properties and it and a bridge built across the Richardson River,  eventually became the base for the formation of the township.

Photograph by Longhair [CC BY 2.5 ], via Wikimedia Commons

The Richardson River during the 2011 floods. Yet, the river can appear as little more than a meandering steam during dry periods. A few kilometres to the north is Lake Buloke, and to the south Lake Batyo Catyo, an artificial lake made from diverting water from the Richardson River during high flow periods and a popular water sports location.

The town has relied on the Richardson River for water since its beginnning and was originally called Richardson Bridge until 1866.

Donald Police Camp 002

The old Police Camp Building and Museum. The police camp began with a portable wooden hut lock up and stables being placed on the site in 1865. This was followed by a brick cottage added in 1874. In addition to the police buildings, the museum has examples of early settler equipment, blacksmith and shepherds huts and a 1880 brick oven.

Donald District Archives

The 1906 Donald District Archives building. The building contains a series of historical archives for the Donald Shire which is maintained by the Donald History and Natural History Group, which also looks after the Agricultural Museum, Court House Museum and assists with looking after the Old Police Camp.