Rose Dawson fulfilled a life-long ambition when she celebrated her 100th birthday last month.

“I always wanted to live to 100, I was hoping I would,” she said.

Mrs Dawson, who was born on December 29, 1918, lives at Manor Court Werribee Aged Care. Residents joined Mrs Dawson’s family members to present her with balloons and flowers for the occasion.

When asked the secret to living a long life, Mrs Dawson said she had “always been healthy” despite suffering typhoid during her childhood.

“I’ve never smoked or drunk, it makes a difference,” she said.

Mrs Dawson said she was born in Port Melbourne, and had four brothers and sisters.

She said one of her biggest achievements was travelling solo around the world for eight months, before she turned 20.

Back in Australia, she worked as a tobacco stripper at British American Tobacco, married her late husband John and ran a milkbar in Essex Street, Footscray.

“I’m so happy with the life I led – I’ve had a good life, I’ve no complaints,” Mrs Dawson said.

Mrs Dawson, who barracks for the Sydney Swans, said times had changed since she was a young woman.

“Everything these days is so dear – you have to work hard to pay for everything, including a house,” she said.