Hugh Dudgeon Jnr came to Australia from Ireland in 1855 with his parents and siblings. The family lived on a clearing lease at Saddleback Mountain and several farms in Kiama where they established small dairies.
Hug was considered ‘the king breeder of dairy cattle in Australia’, by George Grey, General President of the Illawarra Milking Shorthorn Society of Australia.
Hugh pioneered the development of the foundation herd of the famous Illawarra Milking Shorthorn cattle, later known as Australian Illawarra Shorthorn. This breed was purely an Australian production, a rare blend of several older breeds of cattle which gave high yields of milk and quality butter fat.
The Dudgeon’s ‘Hillview’ stud at Jamberoo continued to produce quality cattle lines for decades, the herd winning too many ribbons to count at local and state agricultural shows.
In the 1920s, Hugh’s son John (Jack) Dudgeon, purchased ‘Parkview’ at Calderwood and established a quality herd from his father’s ‘Hillview’ stud at Jamberoo.
Dudgeon cattle were renowned throughout Australia and overseas and, in 1937 a memorial pavilion was erected at the Sydney Showground in honour of the Cole and Dudgeon families, and their contributions to the dairy industry.