In 1953, the Town of St Arnaud & Shire of Kara Kara together issued a medal to commemorate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II (NU 42887).
The name 'Kara Kara' was first used for the shire on 20 October 1884. However, the shire had been incorporated 23 years earlier, on 25 June 1861, as the St Arnaud District, and became a shire under that name three years later.
During a period of local government amalgamations in Victoria in 1995, the Shire of Kara Kara was abolished and split, with some of its area becoming part of the Shire of Northern Grampians with Town of St Arnaud, the City and most of the Shire of Stawell, and parts of the Shires of Wimmera and Ararat, Avoca, Donald and Dunmunkle. Part of the Shire of Kara Kara also became part of the Shire of Buloke with the Shires of Donald (part), Birchip, Charlton and Wycheproof.
The Shire of St Arnaud was located in the Wimmera region of north-western Victoria by the Richardson River, 10km south of Lake Buloke. The lake is freshwater, and forms the terminal outlet of the Richardson-Avon River System. The Lake Buloke area comprises wetland habitat of high significance for waterbirds, particularly waterfowl and waders. The area is thought to have been occupied by the Wemba-Wemba Aborigines. Thomas Mitchell and his surveying party were the first Europeans known to have entered the area.
The Shire's development centred on the Banyenong Run of brothers James, William and John Donald, who settled in 1844. Their homestead became a social centre for settlers on the Richardson River by the 1860s, in part due to the racecourse they laid out nearby. William Donald played an important role in the development of the shire, but the township was established when Johann Meyer, a German migrant to the goldfields, set up a shanty and began to sell alcohol in 1863 at 'The Bridge' or 'Richardson Bridge'. Meyer later went on to build two hotels and selected land for wheat cultivation. In 1866 the nascent town was surveyed and re-named Donald.
The St Arnaud Road District was created on 25 June 1861. The Shire of St Arnaud was formed in the 1864; 33 years later, on 11 February 1897, it became the Shire of Donald. Earlier in the same year it had issued a medal to commemorate the jubilee of Queen Victoria, including the names of all the councillors.
Blake, L. (1977). Place Names of Victoria.
Municipal Association of Victoria website http://www.mav.asn.au/, accessed 10/12/2003.
Register of the National Estate website http://www.ahc.gov.au/cgi-bin/ahdb/search.pl?mode=place_detail;place_id=17257; Fairfax Walkabout Australia Travel Guide website http://www.walkabout.com.au/locations/VICDonald.shtml, accessed 10/12/2003.
Maroske, I.O. & Kirk, L. (1997). Shire of Donald 1897-1995: A Municipal History. Buloke Shire Council.
'Shire of Kara Kara', Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shire_of_Kara_Kara, accessed 27/10/2010.