This is Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls meets Amelia Earhart. It's the real-life story of a daring Australian woman who did something extraordinary - then met an early, mysterious end.
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.
Alice's life was brief but extraordinary, and in this richly detailed and entertainingly told book this pioneering Australian woman comes to life for readers for the first time.
Loretta Smith has worn many hats over the years: secondary school teacher, adult teacher/trainer, youth arts worker, research consultant, case manager and team leader in disability, mental health and aged care. She holds a Bachelor of Education (Creative Arts), Graduate Certificate in Education, Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and Certificate IV in Frontline Management. She first read of Alice Anderson in The Unusual Life of Edna Walling (Allen & Unwin 2005). Then one of her aged clients, who had Alzheimer's, dropped a bombshell when she mentioned 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.