Born: Established: 15 Aug 1834 Wick ; Died: 1910 Portobello
Angus Mackay was a journalist, politician, agricultural chemist, and educator. He was born and grew up in Scotland, and before coming to Australia, had spent a number of years in the United States, where he worked as a compositor on the New York Tribune, and as an overseer on a cotton plantation in Georgia.
Mackay arrived in Queensland at a time when the squatting system of land tenure was in the process of being dismantled, and when large tracts of land were being progressively subdivided and made available to agricultural selectors, many of whom were immigrants, with little or no farming experience. In 1866, Mackay was appointed founding editor of the Queenslander, a position which he used to advance the agriculturalist cause, and to promote the introduction of modern farming and agricultural practices. Over the next decade, through his newspaper columns and separately published pamphlets, Mackay developed a reputation as an agricultural expert, and he became a leading advocate of Queensland's future prospects as a primary producer. In 1875 he was appointed as Queensland Commissioner to the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition, which was held the following year. Whilst in the United States, Mackay also toured farming districts to observe first-hand American agricultural practices, and he also travelled to the West Indies to study sugar growing. On his return to Queensland, Mackay briefly turned to politics, and in November 1878, was elected to the Queensland Parliament as the Member for South Brisbane. However, he resigned his seat in March 1880, and the following year took up a position at the Australian Town and Country Journal in Sydney, initially as agricultural editor, and subsequently as editor-in-chief. In August 1886, Mackay was appointed as an Instructor of Agriculture at the Sydney Technical College, where he remained until 1897.
In addition to his creative literary works, Mackay published numerous pamphlets on agricultural subjects, and a number of larger works, including : The Semi-Tropical Agriculturalist and Colonists' Guide (1875), The Sugar Cane in Australia (1883), and Elements of Australian Agriculture (1885). He was also a Fellow of the Chemical Society.