Stawell's Irene Young turns 100 on Tuesday June 25 and spends her days looking after birds which come to visit her just outside her nursing home window.
Mrs Young has lived a "good life" despite it being tough at times and still tries to be as independent as she can be.
Born in St Arnaud, Mrs Young (nee Parry) demonstrated her extraordinary memory when reflecting on her first few years of life.
"My grandparents on my mother's side owned the Coffee Palace in St Arnaud," she said.
"I was the second child born and even though we lived in Stawell I guess my mother went to St Arnaud to have me because her parents were there.
"I can remember quite a bit about the Coffee Palace - it was a beautiful two storey stone place and it used to have horse and cart stalls in the back yard.
"We loved going up there - my grandparents sold it once they got too old."
Growing up in Green's Creek on a farm with her family, Mrs Young did eight years of schooling in the small community.
"We (her two brothers and sister) got our merits and a good education," she said.
"We could read, add up and spell - it's different to what gets done today.
"We did all our schooling out there and didn't have to go anywhere else."
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Mrs Young said when growing up in the area surrounded by farmers, people were not that well off.
"No one had a heap of money in those days, but everyone had enough to raise a family and get by and leave a bit of money when they die," she said.
"It was a good life and us girls had to work just as much as the boys, as much as we could do to help out.
"You didn't hanker for anymore."
Upon leaving school, Mrs Young moved to Portland and worked in boarding houses and cleaning houses.
"It was always said country girls could get a job easily because they were hard workers," she said.
"After a while, I moved to Ballarat and got a job as a head waitress in a boarding college and on school holidays went and got work in Point Lonsdale.
"When the Japanese come into the war, barbwire was placed all along the shore at Point Lonsdale.
"There were 100s of soldiers in the boarding houses there."
Mrs Young said she can remember the time when the manager of the boarding house was afraid of invasion.
"Everyone was scared the Japanese were going to come up through the heads," she said.
"To this day I still don't know why, but the manager buried all of the crockeries from the boarding house into a great big hole in the ground.
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"The silly thing was, that lady made everyone wash everything before it was put in the dirt, in the ground.
"A lot of clothing was packed up and sent to my father's farm for storage as well as other items stored in bank vaults in Queenscliff."
A Navy nurse approached Mrs Young to join the Navy but she decided to join the Army instead.
"I spent five years in the officer's mess in the barracks in St Kilda Road in Melbourne," she said.
"We looked after all the blokes who run the war. They were very good. The ones with the red tags were high up and you weren't allowed to talk to any of them unless they spoke to you.
"I liked the job and was sad when we got de-mobed and had to get out."
Hospitalised for different reasons during her time in the Army, Mrs Young said she saw some horrible things within the hospital.
"It was bad in those times to see the boys as cripples," she said.
"Those poor young fellas on crutches and a lot of them were blind. It was so sad.
"The nurses who came home who were prisoners of war - I was in the hospital at the same time.
It's just crept up on me.Irene Young
"It was terrible and cruel what they did to those girls. It wasn't fair."
Once the war was over, Mrs Young got married, had a son and a daughter and returned to live in Stawell.
"I lived in my house in Stawell for 67 years," she said.
"We didn't have a rich life, money was very tight.
"I worked around town helping people run their households and cleaning."
Mrs Young moved into Eventide Homes almost 18 months ago due to her health deteriorating.
"I came in here because I was worried I couldn't get help in the night if I needed it otherwise I would still be at home," she said.
"It's so sad when you have to leave your house. I have become a bit tottery and have had some falls now.
"I spend a lot of my time sleeping and I walk down and see the cocky and water my birds which come to visit me."
Mrs Young entices birds to her doorway by leaving small pieces of food and water for her feathered friends.
"I've always had birds - I even had a crow once," she said.
"Somebody went over to the bush and found this crow so they brought it to me to look after.
"He was funny, he would take his food and go away and hide it for later. I had him for a long time and it was sad when I let him go."
Mrs Young said she can't explain how she has lived to such a long age.
"It's just crept up on me," she said.
"I've had more illnesses in my life than you can poke a stick at. It started off when I was about seven and I was in the children's hospital in Melbourne.
"That was a long time ago but I guess you put it down to the luck of the draw."
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