A new website, Mining Family Matters, has been launched across Australia to provide free support and services for the families of miners.
The website is designed to offer friendship and professional support to families coping with the pressures of fly in-fly out work rosters or life in isolated communities.
The idea was conceived by Adelaide-based Alicia Ranford, who is married to a mining engineer and has two young children.
She said she developed the website after struggling to find specific information and services to help her children cope with their father being away for extended periods.
“Mining is a great industry, offering financial stability and opportunities to see new places and meet new people,” she said.
“But it can be tough, especially on young families.
“In the past decade we have moved six times, including a stint in South Africa.
“I have had two pregnancies in outback mining towns, with no family backup and no obstetrics care.”
The website features advice columns and question-and-answer sessions with a resident psychologist and social worker, as well as an online forum to link families who are experiencing challenges.
It also features information of the larger mining communities across the country, financial advice and a careers section.
“With another skills shortage looming as the industry rebounds, it is imperative that companies support their labour force by encouraging strong family bonds,” Ranford said.
“Every time a mining company loses an employee, replacement costs amount to between 0.5 and 1.5 times the miner’s salary.
“A happy family makes for a happy and hopefully more productive employee.”