Reaching out to bereaved families

A mining legacy scheme has been launched to support the families of miners.

A WA-based not-for-profit organisation established to assist the dependants of mine workers killed or permanently disabled through accident or illness is welcoming support from the mining community.
Miners’ Promise, chaired by Ian Fletcher – vice president of external affairs at BHP Billiton, was officially launched at a WA Mining Club function earlier this year.
It is a legacy scheme developed to support the needs of families confronted with the death or permanent injury of a family member who is employed within WA’s resources sector.
Miners’ Promise seeks to assist the families of its members to obtain more immediate assistance during the first eight to 10 weeks while the family waits for the settlement of the estate – or significantly longer if it is a violent or accidental fatality.
When a subscribing member dies the Miners’ Promise immediately advances up to $50,000 to the dependants against the insurance policy.
Miners’ Promise executive officer and secretary Peter Browne, a retired Police Officer and Manager of WA Police Legacy for seven years until July 2009, said the scheme provided support at a critical time for families.
"We can start advancing money immediately to affected families to deal with the issues of mortgages, car payments and funeral expenses," Browne told Australian Mining.
"We take the financial anxiety out for families and allow them to grieve."
There are many other benefits made available to dependants in addition to this monetary award.
They relate to family support and counselling services, home maintenance, financial planning help, legal support and advice and several others.
For four dollars per week, employees in the resources industry of Western Australia can join the scheme which is underwritten by Hannover Life Re of Australia.
Other members of the management Committee include Helen Fitzroy, author of Just a Number, whose husband, Steven, was killed in a WA underground mining accident in 1991.
She has experienced firsthand the problems of dealing with rebuilding a ‘normal’ life since her husband’s death for herself and her three children.
Fitzroy said that seeing the Miners’ Promise become a reality is a dream come true.
"Nineteen years ago I lost my husband in a mining accident and for seven years after his death I was left, with very little support, to deal with the inevitable aftermath of that traumatic event," she said.
"The Miners’ Promise will ensure that no dependent feels like they are alone during a time when support is so crucial."

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