Phil Hillcoat – Queensland

Phil commenced woodchopping in 1964 at age 28. He cut second in nine different championships before winning the 14 inch Underhand Title at the Townsville Show in 1966. He followed this with wins in the 13 inch Standing Block Championship at Lawnton Show and then the 12 inch Standing Block Championship at the Brisbane Exhibition that year.

1970 was a golden year for Phil:

  • He was vice captain of the Queensland team that went to Tasmania for the centenary of woochopping
  • Won the Hytest trophy for the most successful axeman at Sydney Show
  • Chosen to be one of three axemen to join the Australian Contingent of Performers to go to Japan to appear at the Expo in Osaka
  • Won the World 12 inch Standing Block Championship at Brisbane Exhibition
  • Travelled to Brisbane to chop at the citizens welcome for the Queen and Prince Phillip

He won the 15 inch Standing Block Championship at Brisbane Exhibition in 1973. He followed this with wins in the same event at Adelaide Show in September and Perth Show in October of ’73.

In 1978 he won the inaugural trophy for the Queensland Champion of the Year.

Over overseas trips included:

  • 1967 Fiji appearing at Suva Show
  • 1972 Kenya in a team of three to appear with a team of three caber tossers from Scotland and Nairobi
  • 1981 Papua New Guinea appearing at Port Moresby Show
  • 1983 Jakarta for the Highland Games
  • 1984 Jakarta once again

In these earlier years you had to be an all-round axeman who could cut trees, underhand and standing blocks.

Phil was a member of a private Veterans Team of six who went to New Zealand in 1977. they competed against a New Zealand team and this led to the formation of an official Australian and New Zealand Veterans Team who now compete against each other annually.

While in New Zealand, Phil competed at the Masters Games and won a gold medal in the Standing Block at Wanganui.

Over the years, Phil has won many District, State and several Australian Championships. He won the highest handicapped treefeller in Queensland at 132 seconds behind he did not manage to win a treefelling championship at the Royal Show. he cut second in Brisbane twice and also at Adelaide as well as places in Sydney Show but could not get a win.

Phil was a member of he committee of the QAA for 25 years.

When the Australian Axemen’s Council was formed he was an original members and attended meetings in Sydney and Adelaide for many years.

He is a life member of the QAA and in 1995 was the second person to be awarded a life membership of the Australian Axemen’s Association.