I love a sunburnt country,

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains
Of ragged mountain ranges
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror –
The wide brown land for me!

Excerpt from
My Country - Dorothea Mackellar 1908

On this day, 5th September 1908, Dorothea Mackellar’s poem My Country was first published under the title of Core of My Heart.

The State Library of New South Wales has the manuscript of this poem in its collections.

Sometime before 1908, while on a visit to England, a homesick young Australian woman put her thoughts down on paper in a poem she called ‘Core of My Heart’.

This famous poem (later retitled ’My Country’) is believed to have been directly inspired by Dorothea Mackellar’s experience of life on the land, and her love of the Allyn River district, NSW.

From 1898 to 1901, the Mackellars owned Torryburn station, near East Gresford, NSW, during one of the region’s driest times. While holidaying at the property the family witnessed the breaking of a drought. In later life, Dorothea Mackellar recalled how, after the rain, the grass began to shoot across the parched, cracked soil of the paddocks and, as she watched from the verandah, the land to the horizon turned green before her eyes.

Dorothea Mackellar’s iconic verse is now regarded by many Australians as the universal statement of our nation’s connection to the land.

See Discover Collections State Library of New South Wales