As a FIFO wife herself, Perth woman Deanne Hislop formed My Fifo Family to provide support to families with children and help them understand the absence of one parent for extended periods.
Through her own kids, Hislop experienced the anxiety children feel when a parent leaves.
“Trying to tell a two-year-old child that dad will be home in 14 sleeps is not an appropriate way to describe time, especially when he couldn’t count that far,” she said.
“It also meant that when he came home my children would cry when he went to the shops or got in the car by himself because they thought he was leaving.”
After searching for child-appropriate resources without luck, she created the My Fifo Family 2013 kids calendar, which features activities for kids, including coded stickers so children can keep track of their FIFO parent’s roster.
The calendar features a cartoon family based on her own.
Hislop said it had been a struggle getting companies to recognise the lack of resources for children, but several companies had come on board and were providing calendars to FIFO employees and regional charter airline Skytrans had made it available to passengers.
“I believe that a FIFO lifestyle can be a very rewarding choice and so have decided to donate a dollar from each calendar to two not-for-profit organisations that help support the industry, Ngala and their Parents Working Away program, along with OzHelp’s Suicide Prevention Program,” she said.
Hislop said she would be creating more resources for children in 2013.
The A4 spiral-bound calendar is available to buy for $A23.95 from www.myfifofamily.com.au.