READ MORE: Power of doorknocking - ANALYSIS
Gilmore's first Labor victor in 23 years says she is joyous and undaunted her party could not mirror her success nationally.
"I am joyous that we have been able to win Gilmore," Ms Phillips said.
While "sad that Labor has not got in nationally", she said wresting the long-held Liberal seat was an achievement.
"This seat has been held by the Coalition for 23 years and there is such a mood for change out there in the electorate and that was seen in the result," she said.
While heading to Canberra in Opposition was not the plan, "I would not say I am daunted".
"I am still part of a fantastic Labor team and I will be out there every single day advocating for people in Gilmore.
"You just have to adjust and that is what I will do."
Ms Phillips lost by the slimmest of margins at the 2016 federal election and has campaigned ever since against a disunited Liberal Party branch. That disunity culminated in sitting MP Ann Sudmalis deciding to retire - and eventually campaign for the Nationals - and in endorsed candidate Grant Schultz running as an Independent when Prime Minister Scott Morrison dumped him for North Shore resident Warren Mundine.
That worked in Labor's favour, Ms Phillips said.
"We had quite a good flow of preferences from Grant Schultz," she said.
"There was leakage from all the parties, as we expected.
"Having a coalition of candidates did not help them at all, but I don't think that is the sole contributing factor.
"We saw a really negative campaign from the Coalition. People saw through that.
"I have always said this election is going to be tough, and I have done a lot of doorknocking. We have knocked and phoned about 50,000 households.
"I learnt that people are doing it really tough.
"I remember a household in the Batemans Bay area and a mum came to the door and she was in tears. Her child needed more support at school because of a disability. I think another of that person's children had been in hospital.That is one story of many. It taught me everything in terms of why we need to look after people."
She said regular visits to markets kept her in touch with issues such as people having to travel for medical treatment.
"That is what led to me taking a great interest in the hospital and health services," she said.
Ms Phillips regretted that Labor's $25 million promise for the planned Eurobodalla regional hospital would be a casualty of the party's federal defeat.
"That is what is really sad now, (but) the fight goes on for the Eurobodalla hospital for federal funding," she said.
She said in Opposition she would continue to pursue funding for the Princes Highway.
"We have to follow up and advocate for more," she said.
Aged care would be a particular mission.
"I was spending a lot of time talking to aged care workers, nurses, residents, families, volunteers; there are so many issues," she said.
Prior to the current Royal Commission into aged care, Ms Phillips said inquiries had been undertaken but their recommendations not acted upon.
"I am passionate about ensuring we have people trained in jobs shortage areas, such as aged care, disability support," she said.
Ms Phillips said she was unsure what led to Labor's defeat nationally and said the party would have to go through its processes in choosing a replacement for retiring leader Bill Shorten.
Asked if inspiration could lie in the person of a female leaders, such as New Zealand Labour leader Jacinda Ardern, Ms Phillips said "New Zealand is a fantastic example".
"Everyone is talking about New Zealand; Labor has to go through its processes. We have so much talent in the Labor party. We are really lucky; close to 50 per cent women in the Parliament, something we are very proud of."
READ MORE: Gilmore decides: Fiona Phillips claims victory - LIVE BLOG