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Sisters in Crime@Port Phillip Seniors’ Festival

October 14, 2019 @ 10:30 am - 12:00 pm


The nuts and bolts of a death: An ‘in conversation’ about A Spanner in the Works: The extraordinary story of Alice Anderson and Australia s first all-girl garage (Hachette Australia).

Monday 14 October, 10.30 am to 12 noon: Middle Park Community Room, 254-256 Richardson Street, Middle Park (upstairs)

Author Loretta Smith will talk to Sisters in Crime’s Tara Mitchell about the amazing Alice Anderson, the motoring entrepreneur and inventor, who met an untimely and mysterious death in 1926.

From the end of the Great War and into the 1920s, Alice Anderson was considered nothing less than a national treasure. She was a woman of ‘rare achievement’ who excelled as a motoring entrepreneur and inventor. Young, petite, boyish and full of charm, Alice was the first woman in Australia to successfully pull off an almost impossible feat: without family or husband to back her financially, she built a garage to her own specifications and established the country’s first motor service run entirely by women.

Alice was also an adventurer, and her most famous road trip occurred in 1926 in a Baby Austin she had purchased exclusively to prove that the smallest car off a production line could successfully make the 1500-mile-plus journey on and off road from Melbourne to Alice Springs, central Australia.

However, less than a week after her return, Alice was fatally shot in the head at the rear of her own garage. She was only twenty-nine years old. Every newspaper in the country mourned her sudden loss. A coronial inquest concluded that Alice’s death was accidental but testimonies at the inquest were full of inconsistencies.

Image result for loretta smith

Loretta Smith has worn many hats over the years from teacher to case manager and team leader in aged care. One of her clients, who had Alzheimer’s, happened to mention that her mother worked as a driver and mechanic for Alice Anderson. So began her amazing journey researching, studying, writing and promoting Alice Anderson’s exceptional legacy.

Books on sale courtesy of the Sun Bookshop.

Bookings essential: trybooking.com/BECSA

Or phone: ASSIST: 9209 6777 by Thursday 10 October


Middle Park Community Room
254-256 Richardson Street,
Middle Park, Vic 3025 Australia
+ Google Map
03 9209 6777