In 1824, AACo was established as a land development company with the assistance of the British Parliament’s Crown Grant of 1,000,000 acres in the Port Stephens area of the Colony of New South Wales. An image of the original Royal Charter is shown above.
In 1831 Shorthorn bulls were imported from England to develop the company herds. By 1850, despite droughts, depressions and some heavy stock losses, the company’s sheep numbers had risen to 114,118; cattle numbers to 8,306; and horse numbers to 1,436.
During World War I, from 1914-1918, there was a large labour shortage, especially for wool production, and so the company moved away from sheep to increase their cattle production. So began a process of selling southern estates and moving north, purchasing Headingly Station at Urandangie in Queensland in 1916 and Avon Downs in the Northern Territory in 1921.
At the end of the Second World War, the company became a specialised cattle enterprise and in the 1950’s Santa Gertrudis cattle were introduced to upgrade the Shorthorn herds. In the 1980’s, Braham cattle were introduced to the company’s new land in the Gulf region.