The Bega Valley Shire Citizen of the Year for 2016 is Phil Moffitt of Bega, a man with a sincere concern for the residents of the Shire, particularly the elderly.
He has been a member of Bega and District Nursing Home and The Oaks Country Village boards since 2005 when he was invited to join replacing his mother Gwen who retired after many years’ service. He was elected to chair the board in 2009 and has held that role ever since.
Three years ago the board resolved to extend Hillgrove House in three stages, the biggest single building project in the company’s history. Stage 1, with a price tag of $12.5 million is currently underway.
Phil says the current project represents the largest ever spend of a non-profit organisation in Bega.
The expansion has attracted no funding from any official or governmental organisation at this stage so fundraising is a community activity and Phil is grateful to the many organisations and volunteers who help the organisation tick over every day.
Recently he was appointed director and chair of Imlay District Nursing Home Ltd at Pambula, making him now director and chair of local aged care facilities that serve both the northern and southern parts of the Shire.
The company runs Casuarina, Hillgrove House, Imlay House, Sapphire Coast Home Care Services and The Oaks Country Village.
All are not for profit, public benevolent organisations and registered charities which trade under the new banner of Sapphire Coast Community Aged Care Group.
In addition to his dedication to aged care in the Shire, and running his own business, Phil is also active in several other organisations.
He is a past Elder of the Uniting Church and for the past 30 years he has been full-time or part-time treasurer.
He was a driving force in arranging finance and construction of church extensions 18 years ago and has instigated and volunteered in many church projects.
Phil has been a member the Bega AP&H Society for 27 years and is a former president.
He was granted life membership about 10 years ago, something which both surprised and pleased him greatly. He was made a trustee of the ground in 2011. Whilst his involvement with the society is winding down, he says that he greatly enjoyed his involvement with the many fine people and interesting aspects of the show.
The Bega Littleton Exchange is another favourite activity over the past six years as he has always been a keen follower of American politics and history. A particular interest of his are the American Presidents. He and Alison are looking forward to future visits and meeting more American friends.
Phil was born in Bega, in the old Bega Hospital, and was educated locally. He surmises that some of his former teachers would be somewhat surprised by this honour.
He says he has now realised what a privilege it is to spend all your life in the one spot, especially one as beautiful as the Bega Valley and Sapphire Coast.
That is not to say that he doesn’t get around a bit. Phil and his wife Alison have four children – Natalie, Doug, Sam and Fiona. Natalie lives in Wales and the other three in Canberra, with nine beautiful grandchildren to visit.
Phil says he and Alison manage at least one, but sometimes two, trips to Wales each year and take in other destinations on the way home.