Sunday History Photo / Person

Submitted: Sunday, Jan 11, 2015 at 08:52
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Isobel Marion Dorothea Mackellar (better known as Dorothea Mackellar), OBE born 1 July 1885 was an Australian poet and fiction writer. Her poem My Country is perhaps the best known Australian poem, especially its second stanza, which begins: "I love a sunburnt country, A land of sweeping plains, Of ragged mountain ranges, Of droughts and flooding rains." ...
The only daughter of noted physician and parliamentarian Sir Charles Mackellar, she was born in Sydney in 1885. Although she was raised in a professional urban family, Mackellar's poetry is usually regarded as quintessential bush poetry, inspired by her experience on her brothers' farms near Gunnedah, in the north-west of New South Wales.

The poem "My Country" was written at age 19 while homesick in England, and first published in the London Spectator in 1908 under the title Core of My Heart: the second stanza of this poem is among the best known in Australia. Four volumes of her collected verse were published: The Closed Door (published in 1911, contained the first appearance of My Country) The Witch Maid, and Other Verses (1914) Dreamharbour (1923) and Fancy Dress (1926).
In addition to writing poems, Mackellar also wrote novels, one by herself, Outlaw's Luck (1913), and at least two in collaboration with Ruth Bedford. These are The Little Blue Devil (1912) and Two's Company (1914). According to Dale Spender, little has been written or is yet known about the circumstances behind this collaboration.

A federal electorate covering half of Sydney's Northern Beaches is named in her honour as well as a street in the Canberra suburb of Cook. (The Canberra suburb of McKellar was not named after her, but is often assumed to have been.)

On Australia Day, 26 January 1983, a memorial to Dorothea Mackellar was unveiled and dedicated in ANZAC Park, Gunnedah. The centrepiece of the memorial, a statue of Mackellar on horseback by Dennis Adams, was a temporary fibreglass version. The finished bronze version was installed in September 1983.
In conjunction with the January unveiling, there was an exhibition of a series of 34 water colour paintings by Jean Isherwood illustrating the writer's most famous poem, My Country. The watercolours were eventually put on permanent display in the Gunnedah Bicentennial Regional Gallery. Isherwood set about painting a series of oils based on the watercolours which were exhibited at the Artarmon Galleries in Sydney in 1986.

The Mackellar family owned several properties in the Gunnedah area, including "Kurrumbede" and "The Rampadells" on the Blue Vale Road near Gunnedah. Dorothea Mackellar, author of the poem My Country, found the inspiration for that poem on her brother`s property `Kurrembede` where she witnessed the breaking of a severe drought. The first draft of what was to become Australia`s most quoted and best loved poem, My Country , was written in England at a time when Dorothea was feeling homesick. Never quite content with the verses, she wrote and re-wrote the poem several times after returning to Australia.
In the New Year's Day Honours of 1968, Dorothea Mackellar was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for her contribution to Australian literature.She died two weeks later. She is buried with her father and family in Waverley Cemetery overlooking the open ocean. Also her poem Colour, her own favourite, was read at the service.

Dorothea Mackellar's 'My country' as a song

And here is a video clip of the same verse by Christine Roberts with a selection of my photo's, I think many of you will know some of these locations.


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Reply By: Member - Tony H (touring oz) - Sunday, Jan 11, 2015 at 09:14

Sunday, Jan 11, 2015 at 09:14
Thank you Doug.........
Insanity doesnt run in my family.... it gallops!

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Reply By: Member - Alan H (QLD) - Sunday, Jan 11, 2015 at 09:50

Sunday, Jan 11, 2015 at 09:50
Thanks Doug

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Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Sunday, Jan 11, 2015 at 10:46

Sunday, Jan 11, 2015 at 10:46
Thanks Doug, and not the least for your accompanying photos.

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Reply By: B1B2 - Sunday, Jan 11, 2015 at 14:13

Sunday, Jan 11, 2015 at 14:13
G'day Doug,
What a great statue (sculpture) with the horse having a drink. Must check it out next time through Gunnedah.


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Follow Up By: dingbat - Sunday, Jan 11, 2015 at 18:27

Sunday, Jan 11, 2015 at 18:27
Was there in Sept last year, nice little park, statue and setting is impressive.
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Reply By: Steve in Kakadu - Sunday, Jan 11, 2015 at 14:45

Sunday, Jan 11, 2015 at 14:45
Het Doug I recon you were with Lance and I when some of those photos were taken, were did you get the photo of Koolpin Gorge ? And that rock past Gunbalanya, have you been told that story ?

Anja is doing the 12 km walk around Nourlandgie as I type, it is also thumping down with rain out there too.

Catch you later.
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Follow Up By: Life Member-Doug T NSW - Sunday, Jan 11, 2015 at 15:07

Sunday, Jan 11, 2015 at 15:07
Not been told the story Steve, please go on.
some photo's were taken from your boat, Nourlandgie was the day you and Anja took me there and we had a bit of a picnic there where the photo was taken, the photo with JMT Builders truck was when I went to Ramingining.
Both these photo's were 19th November 2008 so yes Lance was there too.

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