New guide offers advice for FIFO families

A new guide with advice for mining families has been released, offering tips and guidance to ease the pressure of fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) on relationships and families.

The Survival Guide for Mining Families, an initiative of Australia’s first online mining community, Mining Family Matters, offers practical tips and professional advice from a registered psychologist.

The guide provides advice on helping children cope with FIFO, sharing time and avoiding conflict, dealing with loneliness and maintaining a healthy sex life.

The creator of Mining Family Matters, Alicia Ranford said while mining offers great benefits for families, it an also put pressure on couples and families.

“I’ve moved six times in the past 12 years, raised two children while their dad has worked a FIFO roster and seen many marriages crumble under the strain of living apart – I wish I’d been armed with a guide like this when my husband and I were starting out in mining,” she said.

“All relationships have their ups and downs, but the stresses are heightened when one partner works away or you’re a long distance from your closest family and friends – this guide offers really practical ideas for relieving those pressures.”

Ranford said mining companies who embrace the guide and the advice it has will to offer, to avoid losing staff who can’t handle the lifestyle.

“Research suggests it costs a company up to 1.5 times a miner’s salary to replace a lost worker,” she said.

“With Australia’s increasingly tight labour market, this guide is an invaluable tool for mining companies aiming to retain happy, productive employees.”

The handbook, which is available from through the Mining Family Matters website offers tips on maintaining a happy home, establishing harmony in raising children and deals with the issues of a largely absent father and discipline for children.

There is also advice on how to discuss the work lifestyle and relocation of the family with children and deal with the emotional issues partners feel when a partner is often away.