Jan is the youngest of five children. She was born in 1940 in Seymour, Victoria and attended Seymour Primary School and Seymour High School. Her father worked on the railways as a guard and her mother was a milliner and a tailoress, before becoming a housewife with the arrival of her children. Jan remembers her primary school teachers being very good and quite revered in the town. A strong memory of her time at school, just after World War II, is the provision of hot cocoa: ‘It was a thing I think in all schools at morning tea time break; you went over to the shelter sheds and there was hot cocoa. All the kids, you took your pannikin or whatever and you got a cup of hot cocoa which was very nice in the winter’. At high school Jan remembers studying a range of subjects but being particularly focused on sport, something she enjoyed greatly. After Matriculation Jan studied to be a nurse and worked at the Box Hill Hospital before going overseas to study midwifery in Scotland and work in the UK. She travelled through Europe and when back in Australia she joined the Army and became an Army nurse, working in a field hospital in Vietnam in 1968-9. On her return to Australia, Jan worked in many different cities and towns as an Army nurse and finally became Director of Nursing, retiring in 1992. In her retirement, Jan looks after war widows, is on the Committee of Lighthorse Park, is the President of the Returned Nurses, and plays bowls.
Primary: Seymour Primary School (1945–1952)
Secondary: Seymour High School (1953–1956)
Tertiary: Nursing Cadetship (1957)
Tertiary: Box Hill Hospital Nursing Training (1958–1961)