From the Mining Towns

Isaac Council’s combined 325 years of loyalty

Men and women who between them share 325 years of dedicated service towards building a better Isaac were honoured last month at a ceremony at Nebo Showground. CEO Gary Stevenson PSM said the group helped lay the foundations of what Council is today. “Their tireless commitment, loyalty and dedication is valued; they have set the standard we can all embrace as a team – the heartbeat of our communities.” Construction Resources Coordinator Ross Sorensen of Clermont began his career in 1974 as a council labourer. “It doesn’t feel like work at all when you work with good people. Included in the line-up were Desley Jeffs for 35 years’ service and being instrumental in helping start Carmila and St Lawrence Libraries; Groundsman Christopher Latemore, Grader Operator Michael Munster and Accounts Receivable Officer Robert Holmes.

Mayor Anne Baker congratulates Ross Sorensen on his 40 years of service.

What kids really think about FIFO

(from Alicia Ranford and daughter Abby)
Our daughter Abby is 12 and her Dad worked FIFO up until she turned eight and I wondered about her thoughts on her Dad doing FIFO for so many years. As you will see from her comments, she honestly can’t see what all the fuss is about.
Q: Abby do you remember how you felt about being part of a FIFO family?
A: Because I didn’t know any different, I never really had a second thought about Dad going away to work. I never thought to myself "I don’t like Dad doing this." It was just something Dad did and I always knew that every other weekend he would come home.
Q: What do you remember of Dad doing FIFO?
A: I remember the morning after he came home we would have to creep around being quiet so we didn’t wake him up. Dinners were always much fancier as well when he was home. When Dad was away you would often let us have 2-minute noodles with peas and bacon but we never got that when Dad was home.
Q: Is there anything you liked about FIFO?
A: I liked that Dad was around for lots of days in a row when he was home on break because he would spend lots of time with us and ask us what we had been up to.
Q: Anything you didn’t like?
A: I didn’t like that Dad couldn’t always be there when I wanted him. I felt bad that he would miss out on some things while he was away, but we would always send lots of pictures and make him feel a part of things. But I never hated it because I knew it was just what our family did. He was away working, not off having a holiday.
Q: Now that Dad is working residential is there anything you miss about him working FIFO?
A: I miss the excitement of him coming home. It was always a great feeling but I love it that I get to see him every day now.
Q: Do you feel like FIFO has helped our family?
A: That is hard for me to say because I think we have a really close family and I don’t know if that is because we did so many years of FIFO or not.
Q: Do you have any advice for other kids who are part of a FIFO family?
A: Make sure you explain to your friends that your Dad or Mum works FIFO and what that means. Some thought I didn’t have a Dad because they would come over on weekends when Dad was at work. He came to school once dressed in his work clothes to help them understand what he did. The biggest thing is to know it doesn’t mean you have a bad family because one parent works away. It’s just a different way of earning a living.

(Mining Family Matters creator Alicia Ranford won an Australian Industry Award in 2016 for her work in Social Leadership. She is a registered nurse, mother of two and mining wife. She and her mining engineer husband Joe moved six times in a decade, so she's an expert at relocating a young family, coping with life in isolated mining towns and staying happily married despite the challenges of FIFO. Read more of her columns at

Outback legends join forces

Australian Outback Spectacular on the Gold Coast has formed a partnership with the Stockman’s Hall Of Fame and Outback Heritage Centre at Longreach. The partnership has seen the addition of a WW1 Centenary Museum attraction to the Outback Spectacular providing visitors with greater insight into the ANZAC journey. Stockman’s Hall Of Fame CEO, Lloyd Mills said they were honoured to collate a display of WW1 pieces for display and proud to share with with around 1000 guests each night. “We are thrilled to partner with such a highly respected organization.” The Outback Spectacular’s latest show, Salute to the Light Horse, brings to life the stirring true story, marking the 100th Anniversary of the Capture of Beersheeba. Bookings are essential at or phone 13 33 86. The Stockman’s Hall of Fame and Heritage Centre is Australia’s premier outback institution playing host to over a million visitors and situated in Queensland’s central western town of Longreach. With its unique design the Hall of Fame stands comfortably among the rugged yet vibrant rural landscape. Information at

Affordable rentals in Isaac

Low and middle income earners still have time to snap up affordable rental properties in Isaac. Modern two bedroom townhouses are available in Moranbah and Dysart thanks to the Isaac Affordable Housing Trust. (IAHT) Committee Chair, Mayor Anne Baker said applicants are assessed under the IRAS and National Rental Affordability Scheme. “We encourage you to check your eligibility on Council’s website; you could be eligible even if you’ve applied before and were not successful.” IAHT is supported by Isaac Regional Council, BHP Mitsubishi Alliance and Rio Tinto. For information phone 1300 472 227.

Property Officers Gillian Hodda and Tess Caswell will help you move into an affordable home.