By Justin RouillonFriday 30 Aug 2019
Congratulations to Phil Sargeson – Queensland Father of the Year for 2019!
Brisbane father of two Phil Sargeson has been named as Queensland Father of the Year for 2019 in a special awards luncheon at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.
After taking out first place in the Brisbane region last month, Phil was up against the four other regional finalists – Kevin O’Riely (Central QLD), Sebastian Torrisi (North QLD), Josh Stanton (Southern QLD) and Thomas Docking (Sunshine Coast & Wide Bay).
While all contenders would have made a worthy recipient of the award, it was Phil’s charity work in supporting thousands of school children that tipped the decision in his favour.
Cereal for Coffee
In 2015 Phil and his wife Samara launched Cereal for Coffee, which through partner café’s sees coffee lovers trading a box of cereal for their daily fix. The cereal then supports the work of breakfast clubs in local schools for children who are arriving at school without having eaten breakfast, or who haven’t had enough.
However the launch of the charity came at a difficult time in the couple’s life. Phil and Samara told 96five after the award lunch that there were a number of trials they’d endured while setting up the charity.
“Cereal for Coffee was started out of a need to fill a void, because Phil’s father had passed away quite suddenly, then we lost a couple of children in quite dramatic circumstances. Our small business went under – we just went through so many things.”
Samara spoke adoringly of the tireless work that Phil has put into Cereal for Coffee.
“He has done such an incredible job with these children, who would otherwise go without. For whatever reason it’s not the child’s fault, and they deserve to be the best that they can be and that is what Phil is allowing them to do.”
In his selfless manner, Phil hopes that the award can help the charity expand with an ever-increasing demand on the charity’s services.
“It (the award) highlights the need to care for people in our community, and looking in our own back yards asking how can we help. We have five breakfast clubs who are waiting on us to sweep in and support them, we are just waiting on the funding.”
Fathers Should be Recognised
Paul Clark (known to 96five listeners as the At the Top guy) is one of the judges for the Queensland Father of the Year Awards, and said that there were a number of things the judges were looking for.
“We’re looking for a father who’s engaged with their own family, and usually they have a story of overcoming some kind of tragedy or hardship in their life. The other aspect is making a difference for other fathers in their community; a man who’s a man among men will make them really stand out.”
Paul also noted that it was important to recognise the work of fathers because of the broader impact in the community.
“Men who are engaged in bringing up their children and in their family, make a huge difference not only in their families but in the rest of society.”
A big congratulations from 96five to Phil and all the regional winners on the work they do in their families and in their communities. You can read more about their stories on the Queensland Father of the Year website.