Jan was born in Parkville in 1940 as Jan Ireland. Together with her sister Deidre she trained to be an RN at Royal Alexander Hospital for Children, Camperdown, in Sydney where the ‘Ireland girls’ became well known.
After graduating, Jan returned to Murrurundi Hospital where she became the matron for 13 years. She married Joe Walker and had three children: Heather, Alison and Richard (dec). As the only midwife in a small rural town, Jan was permanently on-call. She did home visits as well as caring for her family – including her quadriplegic brother. Despite tragic events in her personal life at this time, Jan always fulfilled the nursing needs of her community.
Several years later Jan shifted to Brancaster Nursing Home before moving on to Scone Hospital. After completing her studies she took up a position at Mudgee Hospital as the Director of Nursing, which she held for 15 years. When Joe died, Jan and her girls made Mudgee home. She then remarried but this happiness did not last long. Jan once again became a single parent, working full-time to give her daughters a good education and solid foundations.
The call of the land brought Jan back to her parents’ property in Parkville and back to Scone Hospital where she worked as an RN and midwife until her recent retirement. Just before retiring, Jan was often working in excess of 80 hours per fortnight. She would go home from night shift to run her cattle in the ‘long paddocks’ during the drought and then sleep before heading back to work. In her spare time
Jan volunteered weekly at the Murrurrundi Museum and was an active member of Scone Rotary and the CWA and was often seen down the street selling raffle tickets.
The birth of her grand daughter Anna-belle brought new light and happiness into Jan’s life and we hope she enjoys her retirement spending time with her family.
Not only has Jan Hollows devoted 50 years of service to nursing but also 50 years of service to the communities of Murrurrundi, Mudgee and Scone.
We would like to thank Jan for devoting so much of herself to others in so many ways.
By Peta Broekman (on behalf of members at Scott Memorial Hospital)
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