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Our love affair with dust and speed continues this weekend with the Finke Desert Race. But in the 1950s, long before Finke, a legendary set of car races known as the Redex Trials took place, attracting an extraordinary line up of competitors such as "Galloping Grandma", Mrs Winifred Conway aged 63 (pictured). Despite facing a lack of support early on due to her gender and age, she went on to compete in two races around Australia, proving her argument that "an experienced woman driver is just as good as a man’. She wanted to see the country, take photos and enjoy herself, which she did, at a steady pace of no more than 95 kilometres per hour. She quickly grew a loyal fan base, always driving in a hat and white gloves and even turned up at the finish line with a fresh blue rinse. She told the press it was "the best rest I’ve ever had - no one to look after".

Published: 9 June 2019


Forgotten Territory was a weekly photo column of historic images in the Northern Territory News which I curated from 2016 until 2019 supported by the collections of the Northern Territory Library and other cultural institutions around Australia, as well as local history Facebook groups. 

Click on the images to read the story behind the image.

Warning: May contain images of people who have died.

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