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Keith McBride

Keith McBride comes from what has to be described as a leading Prince Alfred College family. Indeed, the McBride family was the first to achieve six generations of boys at PAC, around ten years ago. The McBride family has also been great supporters of PAC over many generations and this has been recognised through the naming of the McBride Room in the RED Centre after Keith’s namesake, who was killed in WW2, and the McBride Wing within our boarding facility, named after generous PAC benefactor, Peter McBride.

After his early education at a rural primary school, Keith attended Prince Alfred College from Years 5 to 12 as a boarder. He was a member of the 1969 rowing 1st VIII and football 1st XVII, which had a remarkable victory in the Intercol match. 23 points down early in the last quarter, the team came from behind to draw level, then win the game by a solitary point.

Keith subsequently gained a Bachelor of Agricultural Science from Adelaide University during which time he worked on family properties, at Yalumba winery and for the SA Department of Agriculture. After university, Keith joined his father and brother in running family properties and then eventually took over one of these with his wife Vicky, overseeing this with associated properties and another property belonging to his extended family.

Like so many Princes Men in the rural sector, Keith has taken a prominent role in his local and broader community. He has been involved in South Australian Farmers Federation, was a Councillor on the Kingston District Council, a member of the CFS and of multiple sporting clubs and associations.

In addition to his own properties, 30 years ago Keith joined the board of AJ and PA McBride, which is the family-linked pastoral company, and is one of South Australia’s iconic family companies, as well as being one of Australia’s great pastoral companies. For the past 15 years, Keith has led this company as Chairman of the Board and has done so with distinction. The company had been formed by father and son, Albert and Philip McBride in 1920. At that time, the company owned five properties and since that time the holdings have grown steadily, particularly in the north-west and south-east of the state, but also for a time in WA.

Here are a few key facts about AJ and PA McBride:

  • They now have 12 properties across SA and now into Victoria.
  • These properties total 1.4 M hectares, placing them in the top 20 landholders in the country
  • They maintain in the order of 375,000 sheep
  • They are aiming towards, and close to, wool production of 10,000 bales per annum
  • And are currently placed in the top 4 wool producers in the country.

In recent years, the company has focused on adding to existing properties through purchasing adjacent land and has recently acquired another large pastoral property, or rather aggregation of properties, on the Victorian-South Australian border, Telopea Downs. All shares in the company are still held by descendants of the founders. Just as the McBrides have multigenerational links with PAC, the company now has a Director in the fifth generation of the family.

At a time when a number of Australia's larger pastoral properties have been acquired by foreign interests, the significance of Australian pastoral companies such as AJ and PA McBride, and the work they do, should not be underestimated. Indeed, the Telopea Downs purchase saw a large land holding return to Australian ownership from foreign owners.

The McBride family has for many generations given great service to Australia through their pastoral and political interests and involvement, through leadership and service. In leading this company as Board Chair over the last 15 years, Keith has played a major part in ensuring the stewardship and success of these enterprises in an industry which is vital to Australia's long-term interests and security.

Keith exemplifies the very best characteristics of the Princes Man – capable, humble and selfless. Committed to life on the land and the farming sector, and with a strong focus on family and community, Keith lives the Princes Man slogan: Work hard; Be kind.

Head of the River VIII 1969
Head of the River VIII, 1969.

Our Princes Men Gallery Induction - Keith McBride, 17 June, 2021