When June Rourke was 22 years old, she was nursing wounded Australian soldiers during World War II in Bootless Bay, New Guinea.
She cared for those arriving from the Kokoda Track, Buna and other places in New Guinea and Indonesia's Morotai Island.
Mrs Rourke will turn 100 on Saturday, June 1, and said her only advice for staying healthy was to do "interesting things".
"There's so much in life to get involved in," the Banksia Village Broulee resident said.
"It makes life proceed in an interesting way."
War indeed made Mrs Rourke's life interesting.
She served in the 2/5 Australian General Hospital nursing corps, doing "what we were told to do".
She keeps an Australian General Hospital Association letter which cites: "This assignment was a completely new experience - for the first time, the nursing was for tropical diseases - malaria, scrub typhus, blackwater fever, severe dysentery and others."
On Christmas Day, 1943, the nurses cared for 2000 patients in a hospital designed for 1200.
Mrs Rourke said the nurses cared for Australian prisoners of war in New Guinea who had arrived from Japan "to get a bit of fat on them".
The war taught her how to show compassion for others, giving perspective when she returned home.
"In war time, you're very much aware of other people," she said.
"When (bad) things are happening around you, it's a different atmosphere."
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She thought her time in the army "had its interest" and was "good pals" with many nurses.
Growing up in Dunolly, a gold-mining rural town in Central Victoria, Mrs Rourke has always preferred regional towns.
After she returned from the war, Mrs Rourke met her husband, David, at the Victorian State Savings Bank, where she worked in the head office of the valuers department.
The pair moved to Tuross Head and eventually to Broulee for the coastal outlook.
Still an agile woman, Mrs Rourke always enjoyed playing tennis and said she recently picked up Scrabble.
She gave up driving at 94 years old but still misses it.
Family will celebrate the big day with her on Saturday.