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In 1884, Hugh Victor McKay invented a combine-harvester that could harvest, thresh and winnow wheat and, unlike others of that time, he was able to successfully market his machine. From humble beginnings near Bendigo, and later at Ballarat, he developed and expanded the manufacture of a range of farm machinery and products.

In 1904, McKay heard a sermon on “Sunshine – the power of Sunshine – the benefits of Sunshine”. He was impressed by the sermon and decided to call his machine the Sunshine Harvester. The production works moved from Ballarat to Braybrook Junction in 1906 to be near rail and sea connections. His harvester works became the largest agricultural exporting manufacturer in the Commonwealth and the name of the suburb was changed from Braybrook Junction to Sunshine. It is now part of the Brimbank Local Government Area.

H V McKay was a charitable man who believed that his good fortune should be shared widely. The present day Sunshine Gardens, Sunshine Presbyterian Church – McKay Memorial, Sunshine Technical College and Sunshine Bowls Club are on land donated by McKay.



Hugh Victor McKay CBE, died in 1926, and in his will he provided for the establishment of the H V McKay Charitable Trust which still continues to operate.

In 1954, his three surviving children set up the Sunshine Foundation by endowing it with a large capital gift which has allowed grants to be made to support or encourage charitable ventures. The current Trustees are all descendants of H V McKay. With careful management, the corpus has grown and the amount distributed annually continues to increase.