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Mary Durack was educated at Loreto Convent in Perth, Western Australia after spending her early childhood on the Durack family properties in the Kimberley region. She returned to the Argyle and Ivanhoe stations in the Kimberleys during the 1930s' Depression and in 1935, with her sister Elizabeth Durack (q.v.), they published All-About: The Story of a Black Community on Argyle Station, Kimberley. Soon after, Mary Durack also began writing a newspaper column for The West Australian under the pseudonym "Virgilia". Mary Durack remained a prolific writer through the next six decades. She was the patron of the Australian Society of Women Writers. She was married to the pioneer aviator Horrie Miller (q.v.) and was the mother of Robin Miller (q.v.)
In 1966 she was awarded an OBE and in 1978 she was made a Dame (DBE). She received numerous other honours including an Hon D Litt from the University of Western Australia and was a Foundation Fellow of Curtin University.
The Durack family papers are held at the JS Battye Library (MN71)
'‘... far better than any novel; an incomparable record of a great family and of a series of great actions.' The Bulletin When Patrick Durack left Western Ireland for Australia in 1853, he was to found a pioneering dynasty and build a cattle empire across the great stretches of Australia. With a profound sense of family history, his grand-daughter, Mary Durack reconstructed the Durack saga - a story of intrepid men and ground-breaking adventure. This sweeping tale of Australia and Australians remains a classic nearly fifty years on.' (2008 Publication summary)