- Federal representative
McLean arrived in Australia from Scotland with his parents and sisters
He was still a very young child, not really a pioneer but more a
son who was to do his migrant parents proud.
Lachlan Macalister's New South Wales property "Clifton" they
travelled to Port Albert on their way to another Macalister property, "Boisdale"
station, the newly acquired leasehold in Gippsland.
While at "Boisdale" the McLeans were shepherds, but only briefly.
In 1845 they took up the lease of "Glenaladale" run on
the Mitchell River, upstream from the town of Bairnsdale.
With Allan's parents and siblings, his uncle Angus and his father's
cousin's family it would have been a close knit settlement in the bush.
was here at "Glenaladale" that Allan learnt his farming skills;
they had mostly sheep and some cattle.
In an interview published in The Argus in 1905 he recalled
some of his memories of those days.
Stores came once a year.
You had to grind your own wheat into flour.
Communication was by a small steamer which brought stores and took
away the wool and hides.
They borrowed what they didn't have from nearby station owners - the McLeods
of Bairnsdale, Taylor and Loughnan at Lindenow.
remembered vividly the 1851 Black Thursday bush fires when the hills were
alight to the Alps themselves - a frightful day.
Of course they had some difficulties with the aborigines.
Glenaladale homestead - earliest
held the licence for "Glenaladale" until 1866 when it was subdivided
into two stations: "Glenaladale" and "Mharlooh".
Under the Duffy Act, Simon Gillies, Allanís second cousin, took up "Mharlooh"
, some 2,000 acres on Iguana Creek, which runs into
the Mitchell River opposite "Glenaladale".
In that year Allanís parents, Charles and Ann, moved to "Alton
Park" on the Maffra-Sale Road.
in their twenties, their sons Allan, Alister and Norman took a lease on
"Lowlands", on the shores of Lake Wellington near Dutson a few
miles from Sale.
while there Alister was drowned.
McLean married in 1866, to Margaret Shinnick in the Stratford Catholic
Her brother was the parish priest there.
1872 Allan and other family members began the stock and station agency
in Maffra, Allan McLean & Co., which was to become the largest
in Victoria outside the metropolitan area.
Later expansions saw agencies in nearby Gippsland towns such as
Bairnsdale, Warragul and Traralgon, where his brother John was manager
for twelve years.
Uncle Angus worked in the Maffra branch and later son Willie took
charge when his father was in Parliament.
office of A. McLean & Co
McLean began his political career through local government, firstly as
a councilor in the Avon Shire from 1873 to 1875, when the Maffra Shire
separated from Avon, and then in Maffra until 1880.
He held the office of Shire President from 1876 to 1879.
In 1879 he was instrumental in chairing the first meeting of the
Municipal Association of Victoria in the Melbourne Town Hall.
1880 he resigned from the Council and entered the Victorian Parliament
as the MLA for North Gippsland.
He was Minister for Lands in
the Munro Ministry 1890-1, Chief Secretary in 1891-2, Chief Secretary and
Minister for Lands in the Shiels Government of 1892-3, Minister without
a portfolio in the Turner Ministry of 1894-1899, and Premier and Chief
Secretary from December 1899 to November 1900.
Constitutionalist, or conservative, he came to identify with many liberal
causes but remained an imperialist opposed to the federation of Australian
colonies so ardently espoused by the liberal protectionist Alfred Deakin.
Reassured to some degree by Deakin's composite stand as an Australian
Briton, McLean sent him to London in January 1900 as Victoria's representative
in negotiations with the British government.
The result was the Commonwealth of Australia's Constitution Act
which received Royal assent in July and took effect on the 1st
Section of A. McLean & Co's saleyards at Maffra c1890
McLean lost office in Victoria in November 1900 but was elected as Gippsland's
first member in the new Commonwealth Parliament.
His highest office was attained in 1904 as Minister for Trade and
Customs in the Reid government, when he was in effect Deputy Prime Minister.
Surprisingly he lost his seat in the 1906 election, partly attributable
to the fact that he was ill during the campaigning period.
Fuller details of his checkered political career can be found in
Dictionary of Biography, Volume 10.
and Mrs Allan McLean had seven children: five sons and two daughters.
His wife Margaret died in 1884 and he remarried, to a Maffra lady,
Mrs Emily Macarthur (nee Linton), at Port Melbourne, where he lived for
the rest of his life.
died at his home in Beaconsfield Parade, Albert Park in July 1911 survived
by his second wife.
Allan McLean's home at Maffra painted by local artist
Janet Spark in about
Statue of Allan McLean erected in Victoria Park, Maffra, October 2008
Text and photographs have been adapted
from The Hon Allan McLean 1839-1911: an Australian story published by
Maffra & District Historical Society. All photographs are held in the
Maffra Sugar Beet Museum collection.