Here is an idea developed by those clever Australians, and a Canadian version would certainly be welcomed here. Our mining mates from Down Under have a new resource-filled website that offers free support and services for the families of miners.
As reported in Mining Australia Newsletter, the idea sprang from the mind of a mining engineer's wife and mother of two small children. She recognized how difficult it can be for families when mining takes the father away for extended periods, or when they move frequently, or when they find themselves in remote areas.
The Mining Family Matters website (www.MiningFM.com.au) has advice columns, questions and answers opportunities with a resident psychologist and social worker. There is also a social network to connect families who are experiences challenges. Information is available on various Australian mining towns, career opportunities, moving tips, money management, and news.
I'm not so sure the Lifestyle section is what Canadians want or need. It is heavily slanted toward the father-as-breadwinner and stay-at-home-mom stereotype. It contains six tips for keeping your miner happy and 10 ideas to keep "the missus" happy. There is information on men's health; nothing on women's health. There are also slim sections for the online mom and the business-minded mom.
The Mining Family Matters website is supported by a petroleum company, children's specialty retailers and a provider of golf holidays. No mining companies have come onboard, but it may be a conscious decision not to seek their support to keep the focus on individuals. Day-to-day matters for the website are handled by five women who, to judge by their photos, appear to be in their 30s.
Could a similar website be created for Canadian mining families? Yes. Would it be a welcome addition to online resources? Certainly. And while we are at it, let's put together a French version and another for Latin America.