Inspiring Women | Phyll Crocker - Australian Defence Veterans Wellbeing Advocate
Phyll Crocker has been wearing and modelling Merino Country products for many years and is a great inspiration to us with her commitment to the wellbeing of Australian Defence Veterans in particular Vietnam Veterans through the VV&VMC (Vietnam Veterans & Veterans Motor Bike Club).
The VV&VMC membership is for men who fought in Vietnam and ex-servicemen who hold an Active Service Medal. Most of its members are in their 60s and 70 and still experiencing trauma related to their service. Phyll & her husband John, a Vietnam Vet, were instrumental in locating and purchasing the clubhouse in Kingston, 20 years ago this ANZAC day. The club is a safe haven and plays an important role in providing support and mateship for members who have contributed so much to their country. Even though John has passed away, Phyll is still continuing her valued work at the club.
For many years Phyll has also been one of the women behind the meals produced weekly at the club and catering for big events, with her organisational and catering experience being a great asset. In her role as Australian Defence Volunteer Wellbeing Advocate, Phyll helps Veterans navigate the mountains of paperwork presented by government departments and in the past has trained other volunteers right around Australia to do the same.
Many don't see the number of hours that Phyll puts into helping out others but we do and would like to publicly aknowledge and thank her for the difference she makes to so many people.
Phyll at work in her favourite Merino Country T-Shirt Dress
Tell us a bit about yourself and the work you do with Australian Defence Veterans?
I have been a Volunteer Wellbeing Advocate with the VV&VMC Qld Chapter (which Phyll & her husband John, a Vietnam Vet, were the founding members) for the last 18years. My role is assisting Veterans and their families to access benefits and services which they are entitled to.
You had your own family business for many years – what inspired you to become your own boss?
My Husband and I established and ran our own eatery/takeaway & catering business in Cleveland for 8 years. The decision to take this path in business had a dual purpose. My love of food, cooking & entertaining and also the ability to incorporate the needs of a young, growing family.
What is your most memorable experience in running your business?
One of the most memorable and rewarding sides of this business was our ability to employ young girls to learn the food industry, catering, communication skills and the day to day running of a business. The gratification of seeing them grow, flourish and prepare them for future employment with good work ethics and skills was most rewarding. They have remained friends to this day.
What is some life advice you’d like to share with young girls and other women?
“Live what you love, Love what you Live" - Always be true to yourself, follow your intuition and your dreams.
Phyll & her husband John, a Vietnam Veteran, out on their bike on one of their adventures together!
What is your go to Merino Country item for work or play favourite Merino Country piece?
Love, Love, Love the V-Neck T-Shirt dress, (short sleeve) - it is my all time go to dress.
Its' versatility as a Day dress, Night/ Evening Dress, throw over swimmers casual for the beach and even when necessary I have used mine to sleep in. All this by just adding and changing accessories .