WAGGA’S Australian Army Cadet unit would not be the same without Jan Bourke.
The humble grandmother has been a stalwart at the unit since its inception in 1992.
Captain (AAC) David Webster nominated Mrs Bourke for Australian of the Year due to her tireless commitment and dedication.
Mrs Bourke has been the branch administrative officer and mentor since 1992.
“If there’s a policy Jan doesn’t know, it hasn’t been written yet,” Captain (AAC) Webster said.
Mrs Bourke was humbled by her nomination, but said there were many people worthier than her.
Captain (AAC) Webster disagreed.
“Jan is the lynch pin of the Wagga Army Cadet Unit and if this woman ever decides to call it a day I have no doubt that the unit would fold,” he said.
Captain (AAC) Webster came up with the idea to nominate Mrs Bourke in 2013, when the unit celebrated its 21st birthday.
“She deserved to be honoured in a way that was bigger than what we could do,” he said.
Mrs Bourke’s long-term commitment has been spurred by her love of the children she nurtures.
“Cadets is part of who I am,” Mrs Bourke said.
She has watched her children go through cadets and is excited for her grand daughter to join next year.
“I love to watch the cadets achieve.”