I remember when ...
BORN at Booleroo Centre in, South Australia in 1946, Joan Quinlan had the world at her feet.
Growing up in Melrose, Ms Quinlan often played with her fathers bee’s that were kept on their property.
“I get goosebumps thinking about it now,” Ms Quinlan, now 74, laughed.
“I had a wonderful upbringing, it was very free, South Australia was a great place to grow up.”
Ms Quinlan was often around livestock that her father would buy from the local markets, while she was fond of the animals her mother wasn’t their biggest fan.
“I remember the sheep would get into the garden just as mum would start to have something growing and they would come along and ruin it,” Ms Quinlan laughed.
Surrounded by her mother’s cooking as a child, Ms Quinlan still shutters at the thought of steak and kidney pies.
“My parents were very strict on making sure we always ate our food, but if we had those pies for dinner, I would still be there at midnight trying to get through it.”
“Mum had one of those old wood fire ovens and it wouldn’t matter if it was in the middle of summer, she would be standing over that thing cooking.”
Eventually moving down to Adelaide, Ms Quinlan attended Nailsworth Technical High School before finding her calling in nursing at the age of 16.
Starting her training at the Royal Adelaide hospital, Ms Quinlan was put in her place by a rather unpopular matron.
“She absolutely hated me, I remember she told me that I didn't have what it takes to become a nurse.
“I proved her wrong because I did it for the next 45 years or so.”
With the itch to explore, Ms Quinlan found herself working in the Army as a nurse.
“I was at a military hospital in Yeronga in 1970 for a year or so, but I absolutely loved it.
“I remember looking after Keith Payne who was awarded a Victoria Cross, when he came back from Vietnam.”
Although she loved her time in the Army, Ms Quinlan settled in Toowoomba and began working in aged care.
“There is definitely an art to whipping bums I will say that,” Ms Quinlan laughed.
After finishing a 40 year career, Ms Quinlan relocated to Dalby where she now enjoys spending time with her family.
“I love my family, I was so happy when my little girl came along, she is my best friend.”
“Sacrifices were made when I was working because I did a lot of shift work.
“The kids would be home alone but they turned out great and I am forever thankful.”
“I want to tell my grandchildren to follow their dreams, I was lucky enough to accomplish mine by being a nurse all of these years.”