FORMER FIFO worker Warren Hepworth knows all too well the lonely life of working long shifts away from home.
The mining contractor from Perth, who up until recently, was often working 14 hours a day, seven days a week in the Pilbara, has put the pedal to the metal to raise awareness about FIFO and mental health.
“I was working ridiculous hours, my former girlfriend and I had broken up, my finances were crap and my crew hated me,” Warren told media.
“It was a real low point and I was sitting alone in my donga – again – and out of nowhere a mate called me up and said ‘Waz, are you OK?’. I said ‘No William, I’m not OK’ and he gave me this little pep talk. I so needed that.”
Warren is currently pursuing a long-held ambition to ride from Perth to Adelaide, raising money for RU OK? along the way.
“I just thought this was a good opportunity to highlight that working FIFO is not all about buying jet skis and going on holidays – if you’re in mining it’s often a necessity and it can sometimes be challenging for both workers and families,” he said.
“Unfortunately, because it’s such a blokey world on many mine sites, guys who are doing it tough will often spend a long day on the job and then go back and sit alone in their donga. It’s a hard environment to actually put up your hand and admit you’re finding it tough.”
After heading off on his bike from the Perth suburb of Cottesloe on March 28, Warren is aiming to be in Melbourne in time for Mother’s Day with his Mum.
Original article: http://www.miningfm.com.au/news/news-archive/1081-waz-rides-across-oz-for-fifo-mental-health.html