This 1988 mini-series is based on the novel by D'Arcy Niland, and follows the successful 1957 feature film adaptation, starring Peter Finch (made by Ealing Studios, but filmed in Australia).
The narrative follows Macauley, who tramps through outback Australia looking for work. At first, he's content to leave his daughter Buster with her mother in the city, but when he discovers his wife's infidelity, he takes Buster with him (as the 'shiralee' or 'burden' of the title). As the taciturn Macauley tries to bend Buster to his ways, Buster slowly softens her father's often brutal nature.
Moran notes, in his Guide to Australian TV Series, 'the series was the hit of 1989. It had excellent ratings of 38 nationally and peaked in Adelaide at 45. On BBC2 it had an audience of fourteen million over two nights.'