The McCracken Family

An avenue that serves as an enduring reminder of one family’s influence.

The establishment of the Port Phillip Farmers Society (PPFS), and subsequently the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV), rested on the shoulders of the McCrackens.

Alexander Earle McCracken was responsible for organising the first ploughing matches and stock and produce exhibitions in 1848, and, as the secretary of the PPFS for nine years, he played a pivotal role in the organisation's establishment. He owned a farm in the Moonee Ponds district which played host to the ploughing match in 1851.

Peter McCracken was also on the first council of the PPFS and was responsible for sourcing prizes for the first wheat and barley competitions, of which he became a strong competitor, taking out first prize classes during the Anniversary Ploughing Match of the Queen's Birthday in 1850. Peter also served on the first farm committee for the PPFS and was on the first Board of Agriculture.

His nephew, Alexander McCracken, joined the council in 1891. Alexander was elected President in 1909, then, in 1915, was the first President to die in office. Prior to his death, Alexander also served eight terms as Vice President, his main influence being his loan agreements with the Government for the purposes of extensive improvements to the Showgrounds.

Today, McCracken Avenue is an enduring reminder of the influence the McCracken family had over the organisation’s establishment.

The younger Alexander is in the Office Bearers 1916, middle row fifth from the left (first large portrait)

1916 Office Bearers of the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria, Melbourne Royal Heritage Collection. A.E McCracken is in the middle row, fifth from the left (first large portrait).