The Mountain Cattlemen’s Association of Victoria (MCAV) represents a hardy group of people whose families and predecessors have grazed their cattle and maintained the Victorian High Country dating back to 1834.
From Australian settlement to the present, caring for their cattle and custodianship of the land has been a cross generational family undertaking, so their training in the mountains is a lifetime experience. Consequently, the cattlemen are known for their love and knowledge of the bush, for independent action but with the ability to co-operate. They are persistent. They have a profound interest in the past. They respect their elders because of past lessons learned.
As the cattlemen went about their difficult business, a unique Australian culture and heritage was gradually developed - without them even knowing! In the late 1950’s conservation and political group pressure aimed at removing cattle began to grow. The Mountain Cattlemen’s Association of Victoria (MCAV) was formed .
Over the next fifty odd years the cattlemen were involved in a bitter and prolonged public fight to save their runs and leases. That fight was a saga and is a story in itself! The cattlemen’s struggle led to an agreement brokered on the floor of State Parliament in 1989 to create an Alpine National Park. In return the cattlemen were granted in legislation, seven year renewable licenses to graze some sections of the new Park. Such legislation had never happened before.