This year our speaker is Loretta Smith, a Melbournian, born and bred, who loves a good adventure story. Always a reader, avid writer and sometime songwriter/musician, her bedside table brims with books half devoured and her laptop is filled with short stories, long stories, tall and true. More recently her passion has been discovering remarkable women whose stories are yet to be fully told—those women overshadowed by their men, lost to history or simply ignored. So many stories are to be found and so many reflect extraordinary achievements against incredible odds, the stuff of any adventure worth telling.
Loretta’s non-fiction historical biography A Spanner in the Works: The Extraordinary Story of Alice Anderson and Australia’s Only All-Girl Garage was published by Hachette in April 2019.
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.