Donald Alaster Macdonald
Macdonald was born in Fitzroy, Victoria, a suburb of Melbourne, the elder son of Donald Macdonald and his wife Margaret, née Harris. Macdonald was educated at the Keilor state school where he became a pupil-teacher in 1876. He later joined the Corowa Free Press and then the Melbourne Argus newspaper in 1881. On 26 February 1883 at Scots Church, Melbourne, Macdonald married Jessie Seward — their only daughter was born in 1885. 
Writing under the pen name 'Observer', Macdonald established himself as a cricket and Australia rules football commentator. Macdonald "completely revolutionized cricket reporting" — he made the reports more vivid than the earlier over by over style.
Macdonald was first Australian war correspondent at the South African War; during the war he was besieged at Ladysmith. Macdonald's despatches from Ladysmith were eventually sent to Australia and published in the Argus. Later they were reprinted in a book How we kept the flag flying : the story of the siege of Ladysmith (1900).
Macdonald established a weekly column in the Argus called 'Nature Notes and Queries'; in 1909 it was extended to 'Notes for Boys'. Macdonald also published the Bush Boy's Book (1911), enlarged in four more editions in 1927-33; a Nature book for children, At the End of the Moonpath (1922); and his daughter made a selection of his writings in The Brooks of Morning (1933). Macdonald also compiled the Tourists' Handbook of Australia (1905) and wrote a novel, The Warrigal's Well (1901), in collaboration with John F. Edgar.
- Hugh Anderson, 'Macdonald, Donald Alaster (1859 - 1932)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Vol. 10, Melbourne University Press, 1986, p. 249. Retrieved 14 November 2010
- Serle, Percival (1949). "Macdonald, Donald Alaster". Dictionary of Australian Biography. Sydney: Angus and Robertson. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
- How we kept the flag flying : the story of the siege of Ladysmith (1900) by Donald Macdonald at the National Library of Australia