Award is just a bonus for this duo

Alicia Ranford and Lainie Anderson with their Community Interaction award at the Australian Mining Prospect Awards in Sydney.
Alicia Ranford and Lainie Anderson with their Community Interaction award at the Australian Mining Prospect Awards in Sydney.

THEY are just ordinary people, but together Lainie Anderson and Alicia Ranford are making a difference to families living the mining lifestyle.

Lainie and Alicia launched their website Mining Family Matters in February last year to provide free, professional services and support to families in mining and resources.

Since then, the website has seen more than 100,000 visitors and most recently won a Community Interaction award at the Australian Mining Prospect Awards in Sydney.

Lainie said she and Alicia were absolutely thrilled to take out the award, which celebrates companies working within the mining industry to significantly effect positive change within local or regional communities.

"It was a huge surprise. We were trying not to get our hopes up because the other finalists were such high calibre. We're just two mums who juggle the business with the full-time job of raising young families," Lainie said.

"Like everyone who starts a small business from scratch, we're really proud of everything we've been able to achieve with Mining Family Matters. It's just so fantastic that the industry sees the value in what we're trying to do."

Lainie said the award was not only wonderful recognition for Mining Family Matters, but more importantly showed the industry acknowledges the need to support mining families.

With first-hand experience living the mining lifestyle, Lainie and Alicia wanted to create a special online community for families living in isolated mining areas away from family and friends, and for families separated by fly in, fly out rosters.

"Alicia's the wife of a FIFO mining engineer and after struggling to find good resources to help her children cope with the regular separation, she realised that other families might face similar issues," Lainie said.

"We thought we'd get a few people coming onto the site, but we really didn't expect such a massive response."

In March this year Mining Family Matters launched the Survival Guide for Mining Families and so far the response has been incredible.

"The 32-page guide contains professional advice and practical strategies for keeping families happy and relationships healthy, and we've now sold more than 25,000 copies to Aussie mining companies," Lainie said.

"It's been such a success that we're now also producing a generic version of the guide for anyone who works away, regardless of the industry."

Working Away: A Survival Guide for Families was launched in September and Lainie and Alicia have already received interest from industries as varied as horse racing, oil and gas, long-haul trucking and construction.

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