Phil Ferguson (Chili Philly)
Better known as the Instagram sensation Chili Philly, young Melbourne artist Phil Ferguson has built an enormous following around his outrageous range of handmade crocheted hats. However he never imagined that posting selfies with giant pieces of knitted food on his head would help him improve the lives of others.
With 144,000 Instagram followers and a growing profile as an artist, it’s clear the Australian of the Day’s novel idea paid off. While he says making friends and having a creative outlet has been great, Phil’s fame has also given him the opportunity to make an impact in an area close to his heart.
In 2015, Phil was named an ambassador of the Satellite Foundation, which is dedicated to assisting children of parents who have a mental illness. “I personally can relate to how hard that can be because my dad was bipolar,” says the Curtin University fine arts graduate.
“I didn’t understand what was going on with my dad until only a couple of years back. It was very confusing and difficult. I can totally understand the need to help children to come to grips with mental illness in their parents while they’re still young; that can really help with their future trajectory so it’s been very rewarding and humbling.”