The Duracks

Our school's namesake, Patrick Durack, was the eldest of his family of eight. Patrick's father Michael was killed within two months of the family's arrival in New South Wales in 1853. Patrick went to the Ovens River Gold-field hoping to instantly solve the family's financial problems. In eighteen months he had found enough gold to buy a property in the Goulburn district for 1000 pounds.

By 1863 the Durack's pastoral ambitions had expanded. In 1883 the family set off from Cooper Creek in Queensland with thousands of cattle. Two years later the Argyle, Ivanhoe, Lissadel and Dunham River stations had been established along the Ord River in the Kimberley. Patrick died in Fremantle on the 20th of January 1898.

The Duracks are perhaps the most famous of the ‘Cattle King’ families. Their epic story is told in Dame Mary Durack's book, "Kings in Grass Castles". For over 100 years the Duracks held land in the Kimberley. An era that finally came to an end when they sold off the last of their properties in 1989.