Dorothea Mackellar was born Isobel Marion Dorothea Mackellar at Point Piper in Sydney, NSW on 1 July 1885. Her parents were Sir Charles Kinnaird Mackellar, a notable Sydney physician, and Marion Mackellar (nee Buckland). She had three brothers, Keith, Eric and Malcolm.
From 1898 to 1901, the Mackellars owned Torryburn station, near East Gresford in the Hunter Valley of 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.