Don was born in Wangaratta and was educated at Wangaratta High School before moving to Scotch College as a boarder. He first played competitive cricket at the age of 14 in the senior competition in his home town. Don undertook accountancy studies after leaving school and worked in a number of industries including accounting, finance and metal manufacturing at which time he assisted fellow RDCA Life Member Bill Dean and Clive Fairbairn establish and manufacture the Bill Dean Medal in 1978. Married with 4 children Don remained in Melbourne after his college studies and he has resided locally since that time.
After a period of not playing cricket Don joined St. Andrews Cricket Club and it has been a 'home' for Don for many years with Don providing significant service to the club, both on and off the playing field. Don joined the club when it was formed in the 1964/65 season and, off field, has filled many roles including being Treasurer from 1975/76 to 1982/83 and President from 1985/86 to 1988/89. On the field Don had what can only be described as an imposing and highly successful playing record. He played 296 games for St. Andrews across most grades and made 5,865 runs and took 785 wickets – a record he can be justly proud of. Amongst his personal milestones, Don won 5 First Eleven batting and 4 bowling awards at club level and other averages in the lower grades. Association batting and bowling awards, - B Grade (1965/66) and Chandler Shield (1971/72) batting awards and 'D' grade (1964/65), Chandler Shield (1976/77), 'E' grade (1988/89) and Chandler 4 (1991/92) bowling averages enhance a career that included RDCA representative matches as both a player and umpire. Don's playing career was spread over a lengthy period – from 1964/65 to retirement after the 1993/94 season. For many years Don played alongside his close friend John Macmillan, who is also a club and RDCA Life Member. Don was acknowledged for his dedicated (and continuing) service to St. Andrews Cricket Club with Life Membership in 1977/78. The club has further acknowledged Don by naming its Club Championship Award after him.
Don's service to cricket, like most of our RDCA Life Members, has gone beyond club loyalties. He has been involved as one of the original organisers of the RDCA Veterans Competition in the late 1980's and has served for many years on the RDCA Umpires Association where he has held the positions of President and Vice President. A long umpiring career followed on immediately from his playing days and Don is still seen each Saturday 'doing the rounds' as he keeps an eye on the umpiring fraternity, particularly the newer members. Service on the Executive spanned many years and included the important Social Secretary role for a number of seasons.
Don's contribution to the Association was formally acknowledged in 1986/87 when he was appropriately awarded Life Membership – a fine reward for service over many years and which continues today – some 47 years after his RDCA involvement began! From the 2010/11 season, the Senior E Grade competition will compete for the 'Don Smith Shield'.