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Radio Girl: The Story of the Extraordinary Mrs MAC, Pioneering Engineer and Wartime Legend

David Dufty

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Allen & Unwin
27 April 2020
Biography: historical, political & military; History; Second World War; Electrical engineering; Radio technology
As you climbed the rickety stairs of an old woolshed at Sydney harbour in 1944, you would hear the thrum of clicks and buzzes. Rows of men and women in uniforms and headsets would be tapping away vigorously at small machines, under the careful watch of their young female trainers. Presiding over the cacophony was a tiny woman, known to everyone as 'Mrs Mac', one of Australia's wartime legends.

A smart girl from a poor mining town who loved to play with her father's tools, Violet McKenzie became an electrical engineer, a pioneer of radio and a successful businesswoman. As the clouds of war gathered in the 1930s, she defied convention and trained young women in Morse code, foreseeing that their services would soon be sorely needed. Always a champion of women, she was instrumental in getting Australian women into the armed forces.

Mrs Mac was adored by the thousands of young women and men she trained, and came to be respected by the defence forces and the public too for her vision and contribution to the war effort. David Dufty brings her story to life in this heartwarming and captivating biography.

'[An] incredible and inspiring life... Dufty's new biography captures her unwavering dedication in the face of adversity.' - Professor Genevieve Bell, Australian National University 'A cracking story about the famous Australian radio engineer you've never heard of.' - Dick Smith, entrepreneur and philanthropist
By:   David Dufty
Imprint:   Allen & Unwin
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 153mm, 
Weight:   470g
ISBN:   9781760876654
ISBN 10:   1760876658
Pages:   312
Publication Date:   27 April 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

David Dufty has a PhD in psychology, and has worked as a statistician and social researcher at the University of Memphis, Newspoll, and the Australian Bureau of Statistics. His book The Secret Code Breakers of Central Bureau won the 2017 Nib Military History Prize.

Reviews for Radio Girl: The Story of the Extraordinary Mrs MAC, Pioneering Engineer and Wartime Legend

[An] incredible and inspiring life . . . Dufty's new biography captures her unwavering dedication in the face of adversity. --Professor Genevieve Bell, Australian National University A cracking story about the famous Australian radio engineer you've never heard of. --Dick Smith, entrepreneur and philanthropist


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