Hi, my name is Alicia Ranford and it’s a pleasure to welcome you to our new website, Mining Family Matters.

We’re proud to offer this website as a free resource to Canadian families in mining, oil and gas.

At the outset I should say that we’re overwhelmingly positive about mining and resources – and in particular the lifestyle choices these sectors afford families. But we’re also honest about the relationship pressures of fly-in, fly-out rosters and living away from strong support networks.

That’s why we’re so committed to ensuring families don’t feel like they’re alone – because the fact is that mining families the world over are tackling the same issues every day.

Our goal is to make you feel part of a community – despite the fact that we might live and work in different corners of Canada and even (in my case) on the other side of the globe.

I’m a mining mom too – and together with my friend, journalist Lainie Anderson, I first created Mining Family Matters in Australia back in early 2010.

I came up with the idea of a support network for mining families after my two children struggled to cope with their dad’s fly-in, fly-out rosters. My daughter Abby was three at the time, and she’d rock herself to sleep each night, crying and clutching a photo of the father she missed so desperately.

When I started looking for online resources, I simply couldn’t find any.

So after helping my own children to cope with some simple support strategies (provided by my friend Angie Willcocks who is now our resident psychologist on the website) I decided to create Mining Family Matters.

I moved six times in the space of a decade with my mining engineer husband Joe, and we also had six years as a fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) family. So I understand what it’s like to relocate with a young family, or to spend weeks with the kids while your husband is away. I know how hard it can be sometimes, but I also know that little strategies and skills can often make life seem so much easier (and as Angie says – coping skills CAN be learnt.)

Four years on, after receiving an ever-increasing number of requests and emails from Canada, we decided to create www.miningfm.ca – a free resource for and about Canadian mining families.

Each month, we’ll offer professional advice and practical strategies to keep your relationships strong and your family happy.

Our Canadian columnists Virginia Heffernan and Jocie Ferron will provide their own personal perspective on mining family life. We’ll talk to employees about working in this dynamic industry, and we’ll get expert careers advice from recruitment specialist Terry Lende.

Of course we’d love your stories, feedback and advice too. Please click here to contact us.

To chat with mining families from around the world, you can join us on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/MiningFamilyMatters.

And you’ll find us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MiningFM.