The effects of fly-in fly-out (FIFO) workforce practices on families in Australia

The effects of fly-in fly-out (FIFO) workforce practices on families in Australia

Veronica Meredith, Paula Washington, Anne Sibbel, Nicole Ashby, Emmanuel Hondros and Steve Hackett

This webinar presented findings from research into the effects of fly-in fly-out (FIFO) workforce practices on children and family relationships.

This webinar was held on 26 February 2014.

A limited but growing amount of Australian research into fly-in fly-out (FIFO) work practices tentatively suggests that a FIFO lifestyle can have positive, negative or few effects on children and on family relationships - depending on the circumstances.

In this webinar, Veronica Meredith, Paula Washington, Anne Sibbel, Nicole Ashby, Emmanuel Hondros and Steve Hackett presented findings from the CFCA paper Fly-in fly-out workforce practices in Australia: The effects on children and family relationships.

Implications for research, policy and practice, FIFO families and mining organisations were discussed by an expert panel.

About the presenters

Veronica Meredith

Veronica Meredith is a Research Officer with the CFCA information exchange at the Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Paula Washington

Paula Washington is the Manager of Family Relationship Services at Centacare North Queensland, and has extensive experience in the areas of child protection, counselling, and mediation. With undergraduate studies in Psychology, Paula is about to complete her MBA with a major in Dispute Resolution.

Paula has always lived and worked in Northern Queensland, and in particular communities with a strong demographic representation of Defence, mining and rural industries. In 2012 Paula presented at FRSA on the FIFO Families Project being undertaken across the Townsville and Mackay regions through Centacare.

Anne Sibbel

Anne Sibbel is a registered Community Psychologist with 14 years' experience researching the impacts of fly-in/fly-out employment on the wellbeing of Australian individuals and families.

Anne's own experiences as a FIFO partner, the first time in 1990, led to her completing a PhD investigating the well-being of Western Australian FIFO employees and partners, and to her current practice researching and working with FIFO individuals, families and companies. Having lived and worked within Australian mining communities and organisations for over 42 years, Anne has a deep understanding of the issues associated with both residential and commuter living.

Nicole Ashby

Nicole Ashby is the Founder and Director at FIFO Families, a support and connecting organisation for "working away" workers and families. As of February 2014, FIFO Families provides support to over 14,000 families across Australia and New Zealand.

Nicole has a background in social welfare, management and secondary school teaching. The last five years have seen Nicole's family transition to the FIFO lifestyle after her husband, Joe, gained employment in the off shore industry on a four week on/four week off roster.

Emmanuel Hondros

Emmanuel Hondros is Manager, People Strategies, at the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia - the peak resources sector representative body in Western Australia.

Emmanuel has over ten years’ experience in the resources and engineering sectors. He has worked for global engineering companies in employee relations and has previously held roles at the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy’s national office in Melbourne, managing its education and careers section, and at the Minerals Council of Australia’s Minerals Tertiary Education Council, working on collaborative higher education programs and education policy.

Steve Hackett

The webinar was chaired by Steve Hackett, who at that time was Executive Director of Family and Relationship Services Australia (FRSA).

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