A MONTHLY meet up starting in Clarkson this week will provide a forum for fly in/fly out (FIFO) families and couples to share their experiences and establish a support network.
Created in collaboration with local not-for-profit group i60 Community Services and the FIFO Families organisation, Ocean Keys Shopping Centre will host the inaugural FIFO Family Monthly Meet-up on Wednesday for those living in FIFO households.
The free monthly meet-up, which will repeat on the first Wednesday of every month, was established to cater for the high number of FIFO families and couples living in the northern coastal suburbs.
Butler resident Karin Gelly, whose husband Darren has been a FIFO employee for more than four years, said the event would help families adjust to FIFO life and offer a place for them to connect.
“We moved to Perth six years ago and as well as being entirely new to the state with no family and friends, Darren was working away for four weeks at a time which made it quite a challenge,” Mrs Gelly said.
“It was very lonely at first; I didn’t know of any ongoing local events at the time and it would’ve been so reassuring to have been able to meet other mums like me in the same position.”
Carolyn Edwards, who is the i60 project development manager, said it was well documented FIFO employees often felt isolated working and living away from family and friends, and their partners could also struggle.
“FIFO life can be difficult for those back in Perth who, like Karin, may not have an existing chain of support they can call on for help or simply spend time with,” Ms Edwards said.
“To make connections with people who face the same challenges and understand this different way of living is really valuable and offers precious support both emotionally and logistically.”
The first free FIFO Family Monthly Meet-up will be on May 4 from 10am- 11am at Ocean Keys Shopping Centre, featuring a workshop, light refreshments and a colouring-in station for children.
To register, call 9407 2411 or visit the information desk in centre.