"I wanted to contribute towards the wellbeing of others in a more personal way" - meet Phil Hamilton, Chaplain at Bethanie Fields.
What prompted you to become a chaplain at Bethanie?
Having semi-retired 3 years ago, I was prompted to help the elderly in this season of life using some of the skills and life experiences I had acquired over the last 30 years in my spiritual and working life. I wanted to contribute towards the wellbeing of others in a more personal way having been in global and corporate business most of my career.
What careers did you pursue before becoming a Chaplain?
My first paid job was on the family farm where I learnt to shear sheep for extra cash around the district. I then spent 20 years in the airline and travel industry mostly installing and training staff on reservation systems. A lot of my time was spent working in Singapore and Sydney. A career in Senior Management for two Mining Suppliers beckoned in the Pilbara during the Iron Ore Boom where we lived in the Pilbara for 8.5 years, finishing up managing six Branches and 80 staff across six townships, before finally shifting to Bunbury.
What do you find the most rewarding about your role?
Building relationship with the residents, families and staff members and being there for them when they need someone to talk to.
What piece of advice do you frequently give to customers/staff/family members?
Enjoy each day we have together and be a friend to someone around you. We all need each other in life.
Is there a particular story or experience that has made you realise the impact of your work?
From being given the privilege to be part of a resident’s life, through to supporting the families of those who have passed – I see the impact of Bethanie’s Chaplaincy service in everything I do. I support and enable those families to celebrate their loved one and all that they meant to them.
We at Bethanie care for so many amazing people who have contributed to society in so astounding many ways - and I get to hear their life story. I am always inspired by the various backgrounds we come from, “and the mountains and valleys we traverse through our experiences in our daily walk”.
I believe we get to truly understand life when we take time to reminisce and be thankful for our family and friends.