Isobel Marion Dorothea Mackellar OBE was a third-generation Australian. Her Grandparents arrived in Sydney, from Scotland, on the 21st May 1839. She was born on July 1st. 1885, at her parent’s home, Dunara, on Point Piper in Sydney. Her father Charles Kinnaird Mackellar was an MD registered with the NSW government medical board, politician and businessman. Baptized Isobel Marion Dorothea Mackellar on August 8th. 1885, at All Saints, Woollahra.

  • Education

    Education consisted of private tuition at home

  • Family Life

    Family, country properties in the Hunter Valley

  • Interests

    Dorothea loved acting. With her friend Ruth Bedford, together



The first draft of My Country was written in England when Miss. Mackellar thought lovingly of her home country, Australia. Dorothea Mackellar wanted the verse to express her deep and true love for her country. It was re-written several times before a satisfactory completion.

She resented the tendency of acquaintances in her youth to discredit Australia, and to refer to England as ‘Home’. As a young girl Dorothea was clearly aware of the variety and beauty presented by the Australian landscape. The majority of her poetry has taken its imagery from her love of the natural Australian scenery. The original title for “My Country” was “Core of My Heart”, and was the title used when the poem was first published in 1908, in the London Spectator Magazine.



A small selection of poems, that gives a hint of the wide variety of subject matter covered in the poetry of Dorothea Mackellar. Although well remembered for her exceptional insight into the “Beauty and Terror” of the Australian landscape, Dorothea also understood the landscape of the mind. The frustrated hopes of life and love.


Written in 1909, this poem was one of Dorothea’s personal favourites. It was first published in the volume of verse “The Closed Door”, in 1911. The poem was read at her funeral service at St. Mark’s Church, Darling Point, in Sydney


Dorothea was inspired to write this poem while visiting the family property, “Kurrumbede”, near Gunnedah in New South Wales. It was published in 1911, in the volume of verse “The Closed Door”.

In search of Dorothea

A biography of Dorothea’s Life, the times she lived in and influences on her poetic work.