Mining wives find support in Gladstone thanks to group

A support group for mining wives is helping newcomers build friendships in Gladstone.
A support group for mining wives is helping newcomers build friendships in Gladstone. Rebecca Davis

WHEN first-time mum Kim White moved to Gladstone in July for her husband's work, she knew no-one.

With a young baby, Kim found it difficult to meet people.

When she heard about a mining wives support group elsewhere, she decided to start one in the Gladstone region.

The group has now been running for several months and has been a great success.

"We have six members in our group at this stage, and we are meeting every Wednesday at 10.30am at the Tondoon Botanic Gardens," Kim said.

"We're looking forward to organising heaps of activities in the new year."

Kim said from January the group would focus on spreading the word further in the community.

"We are hoping to have an Australia Day family barbecue at some point," she said.

"And we're all going to draw on our own skills to share something with the group, such as cooking, sewing and learning to dance.

"Everyone has something to share."

Sarah Peters and her family moved to the Gladstone region at the end of 2010, amid Christmas and the chaos of the Queensland floods.

She described the move as massive.

"We moved up from the Snowy Mountains," she said. "Three kids, two dogs and everything we could fit in the car."

Sarah said the transition had been lonely.

"I found it was very hard to meet people," she said. "I thought after a year I'd have a strong network but I didn't.

"Not having any family or friends that I could fall back on if I needed to was hard."

Sarah had already been in the region for two years when she saw an article in The Observer about the Mining Wives Support Group.

"I sent Kim a text and I went along to the first meeting."

Sarah has been to the weekly gathering ever since.

"It's fantastic," she said. "We've all come from different places and there's a mix of ages, but we all get along.

"The meeting usually starts at 10.30am and we're usually still there at 1pm."

The group recently held a Christmas gathering for families at Tannum Sands.

"It was great for my partner to meet some of the others," Sarah said.

"Like many men in Gladstone, my partner goes to work and comes home again and works long hours. He doesn't have much of a chance to meet people."

Sarah said she looked forward to every Wednesday.

"Everyone is lovely," she said. "It's the interaction I needed, for myself and my partner."

The first Gladstone Mining Women Support Group meeting for 2013 will be held at the end of January.

Anyone is welcome. For more information phone Kim on 0402 241 454.

Topics:  gladstone mining resources support group

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