Ms Hohaia’s father was FIFO, her ex-husband and two elder sons are FIFO and her new fianc� is FIFO as well, but she said she is used to the lifestyle.
While her fianc� is away, Ms Hohaia cares for her two younger children, and every other weekend his two children from a previous relationship.
Until recently she worked full-time, but this year she has launched a business, Safe Balance, to support FIFO families.
She also runs a Canning Vale FIFO Families support group, to help children and parents make friends and overcome challenges.
Ms Hohaia said many children struggled with a parent’s absence, home parents got used to living alone and the upset to routine when workers returned could cause tension.
Workers could get depressed while away, without the healthy distractions of ordinary life.
‘Technology makes it easier,’ she said.
‘Without Skype we would be lost.’
She said the ease of taking photos and making videos was another blessing, making it easier for workers to take part in moments missed.
She recommended families take advantage of groups and products tailored to them.
‘Just remember that no one is doing this forever,’ she said. ‘Have a financial plan, set yourself up for retirement and living a comfortable, realistic life.’
For more information on the Canning Vale support group call 0487 332 607.
Free public lecture on mental health of
FIFO/drive-in drive-out workers
Curtin University is hosting for Mental
Health Week (runs October 6 to 12)
Lifeline WA chief executive Fiona
Kalaf talks about coping, support and
Tuesday, October 8, 5.45pm for 6pm
(RSVP by this Friday, October 4, on
Norman Dufty lecture theatre, building
210, room 102, park behind building
Blue markings on properties.curtin.edu.
au/maps or see disability.curtin.edu.au