A Springfield-based pastor and community leader has received national recognition in the 2024 Australia Day Honours List.
Phil Cutcliffe, founder and director of outreach charity Westside Community Care since 1997, was honoured with a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) on January 26 for service to the community.
“I felt honoured,” Phil said, conceding he initially thought the email was a prank.
He credited his experiences as a teenager with both the Army Reserves and Christianity for motivating him to pursue a life of community service.
“[Since then] I’ve just taken one step after another, and crazily enough, other people have joined in.”
Phil’s charity runs a weekly food bank at the Camira Springfield Community Centre, and routinely assists with and hosts many other programs.
“Nothing happens without a good team of people volunteering with you,” he added.
The father of four has lived in Springfield with his wife Julianne for nearly three decades, forming the Springfield Christian Family church in 1996.
Through annual events like the Seeds Fundraising Dinner, Westside helps fund community giveaways aimed at struggling families, like the recent back-to-school pop-up shop.
“In the last 10 or 15 years, I’ve realised how a lot of people are naturally inclined to want to serve.”
“It’s actually rewarding serving others and helping others. It’s been a really enjoyable journey for me, and it’s great to see the benefits get paid forward back into the community.
“Julianne has stuck with me right through.”
She said Phil is a man who never says ‘I’m too tired’ or ‘I can’t’.
“He is an Eveready battery always on the go on behalf of others, and we are all very proud of him.”
Fellow Westside Community Care organiser June Johnson said she was thrilled to see his outstanding service acknowledged.
“Phil is a man who shares everything. He is everyone’s friend and helper [and] makes a difference in so many lives.”
A former teacher at Westside Christian College, Phil is also an avid volunteer for his local Parkrun.
He is among more than 140 Queenslanders who received Australia Day honours this year.