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Australian Moms – Mining Family Matters - Help to Ease the Pressure on Canadian Families in Mining, Oil and Gas

A free support website has been launched in Canada to boost the emotional resilience of employees and families in mining, oil and gas.

Created by two Australian mothers, the free website is designed to offer professional support and friendship to Canadian families coping with the pressures of fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) rosters or life away from strong support networks.

“Mining, oil and gas are dynamic industries offering financial stability and great career opportunities – but the lifestyle can also be tough sometimes, especially on young families,” says founder Alicia Ranford.

“I created Mining Family Matters in Australia four years ago, after struggling to find specific information and services to help my two young children cope with their FIFO mining dad being away for extended periods. The website is now accessed by more than 16,000 people a month.”

After receiving regular enquiries from North America, Alicia and co-founder Lainie Anderson decided to offer the same dedicated resources to Canadian families and companies.

The website, www.miningfm.ca, caters to both English and French readers. Key features include:

  • A free Q&A counselling service where families can seek professional advice on relationship and parenting issues;
  • Columns by resident psychologist Angie Willcocks; and
  • Stories by lifestyle contributors and mining, oil and gas workers.

The Mining Family Matters team – in Toronto this week for PDAC 2014 – has also launched a new guidebook to help Canadian families survive and thrive when one partner works away.

The 32-page Working Away Guide is printed in English and French and targeted primarily at resources companies. It contains professional advice most commonly requested by FIFO families around the world, as well as practical ways to keep relationships healthy and families happy.

Topics include what to expect when you first work away, parenting and discipline, sex and FIFO couples, the art of making new friends, house rules for happy homes and helping kids to cope.

“FIFO family issues are universal,” says Alicia. “That’s why we’re so committed to ensuring families don’t feel like they’re alone – because the fact is that mining families the world over are tackling the same issues every day.

“Our goal is to make families feel like they’re part of a community – despite the fact that we might live and work in different corners of Canada and even on the other side of the globe.”

The Canadian launch follows significant success for Mining Family Matters in Australia, where 16,000 families now access the free website every month and more than 100,000 guides have been sold to companies nationwide.

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