Donald Crawford Watson OBE

Don was educated at Stanthorpe Schools and Gatton Agricultural College, completing his education with a Diploma in Agriculture from the Queensland Agricultural College, Lowes in 1942. He joined the Royal Australian Air Force in 1943 and served as a navigator until the end of WWII in 1945.

On his discharge in 1945 he joined the family companies, Brie Brie Estate at Mossman as Assistant General Manager. In 1958 he was appointed Chairman of Directors of the Companies.

Also in 1958 he was elected to the Boord of Directors of the Mossman Central Mill Company Limited.

He was elected Deputy-Chairman in 1963 and Chairman in 1972 and continues to hold this position as well as Chairman of the Company's subsidiary company, Seo Ranch Pty Ltd (Aquaculture) and Douglas Developments Pty Ltd (Bally Hoolley Steam Train).

In 1972 he was elected a Vice President of the Australian Sugar Producer's Association Limited and was elected President in 1979, a position from which he retired in March 1986. The association is no longer in existence as a consequence of substantial restructuring which Don Watson shepherded into place. In his role as President of the Australian Sugar Producers Association was charged with the task of providing guidance and advice to cane growers, sugar millers, Commonwealth and State Governments.

In 1979 he was elected a Councillor of the Douglas Shire Council and since April 1988 he held the position of Deputy Chairman. He retired at the 1994 local authority elections.

He was also appointed by the Prime Minister as a member of the Board of the Australian Bicentennial Authority from 1980 to 1984 and served as Deputy Chairman of the Queensland Bicentennial Council from 1980 to 1984. In 1984 he was appointed Chairman of the Council's Aboriginal and Islander Affairs Committee.

He was a member of the Cairns Port Authority from 1982 to 1990 and from April 1988 to September 1990 held the position of Deputy Chairman. From May 1987 to December 1990 he served as Director of the Queensland Tourist and Travel Corporation.

On 31st December 1984, he was awarded the Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.) for services to North Queensland sugar industry. He was the Director of Sugar North Ltd.

In 1989 he was appointed a member of the Matthews Committee of Inquiry into Pooling and the 1990 Sugar Industry Working Party.


Gatton Gold Medal


Queensland Diploma of Agriculture