The FIFO Doco is a hosted pursuit on many roads to discover the important social impact stories surrounding the resource sector. Are our fellow country men and women achieving the Australian dream from making the FIFO sacrifice and if so at what price? Genuine, inspiring and heartbreaking stories straight from the heart of FIFO workers who talk candidly to our host in the car to and from the airport.
A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing
A landmark study in 2015 by Edith Cowan University showed FIFO (fly in fly out) workers in the resource sector were suffering from depression at more than twice the rate of the Australian population with troubling rates of suicide. This continued to grow with the mining boom downturn. The pressure on workers to perform in grueling conditions and uneven rosters, away from loved ones is contributing to the high rates of depression.
In 2015 the Legislative Assembly commissioned the Education and Health Standing Committee to inquire into the impact of FIFO work arrangements on mental health in the resources industry. The Chairman’s Foreword sums up the issue, "The typical FIFO resource worker comes from the highest risk demographic (male aged 18 – 44) for mental illness and suicide. FIFO takes such an individual regularly away from home, puts them in isolation from their family and other social supports, subjects them to fatigue and then controls their life within the camp environment".
What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?
There is much that can be done to mitigate or prevent mental health risks associated with FIFO work. The FIFO Doco will bring awareness to how an array of factors including bullying, culture, rosters and coping styles can affect choices and mental health of FIFO workers.
What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?
A report "The Impact of FIFO Work Arrangements on the Mental Health and Wellbeing of FIFO Workers" produced in 2018 identified 18 recommendations as to how employers, individual workers, and families can take active steps to improve the experience of FIFO work. The FIFO Doco in alignment with the recommendations, "urges industry, unions, government and other stakeholders to take the lead in embracing these recommendations" and we hope that our film will help bring awareness and make these changes closer to being implemented. "FIFO work arrangements are likely to be here for some time to come. By bringing awareness to the issue, there is a chance to make a powerful difference to the lives of FIFO workers and their families. Indeed, addressing many of the recommendations will improve the mental health of all workers. And acting on many of the recommendations will reduce the mental health risks of FIFO work and foster greater productivity and use of worker talent as well." S Parker
How will this documentary achieve its outcomes?
The FIFO Doco gets to the heart of the issue with our host talking candidly to our talent at their most vulnerable time – in the car on the way to the airport. Our characters will resonate with the audience and their stories will reveal the impact of the FIFO work arrangements on their mental health over a period of time. Their stories will be revealed "Taxicab Confession" style and create empathy and awareness in the audience in order for them to want to push for social change.
How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?
We are working with the research team at Curtain University who are informing our social impact strategy.
We are working with FIFO groups including "FIFO Jobs" and "FIFO Families" who are putting forward our key talent.
Audience Engagement and Social Impact
What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?
We hope that any FIFO worker will become more aware of the mental health risks associated with their workplace arrangements and feel more confident to take action when they feel that it’s needed on the worksite and at camp.
We also hope that our audience will push industry, union and governments to implement change.
Measurement and Evaluation
What is the projects indicators for success?
Engagement with our social media pages, comments and messages will let us know that our film has made an impact.
When we see that the recommendations in the report "The Impact of FIFO Work Arrangements on Mental Health of FIFO Workers" are being implemented at a government and industry level.