Patsy Durack emigrated from Ireland to Australia in 1853 when he was 18 years old. After initially settling in New South Wales he later established a prosperous homestead and cattle station in Western Queensland. But Patsy Durack remained hungry for property, and in 1883 he organised a great cattle trek and sent the family across the continent from Queensland to the unexplored reaches of the Kimberley, occupying land the size of Belgium and dispossessing the original inhabitants. Having claimed their property, the Duracks, over successive generations, would struggle to survive and one by one their stations foundered. In the end, the Duracks were left only with their memories, embodied in the writings of Mary Durack and the paintings of her sister Elizabeth (qq.v.).