Playing man of the house

Victoria Murray, with youngest child Thomas, is starting a support group for miners’ wives.
Victoria Murray, with youngest child Thomas, is starting a support group for miners’ wives. Sharyn O'Neill

MOTHERS wear a wide roster of hats: cook, taxi driver, tutor, doctor ... the list goes on.

But when you also throw 'dad' into the mix, the responsibility can be overwhelming.

That's the reality for many mining families.

With rosters tying workers to large chunks of time away from home, it often leaves their partners to shoulder full family responsibilities.

This can create issues such as loneliness, resentment, isolation, split families and relationship breakdowns.

And that's what Victoria Murray wants to tackle with a new support group to connect mining women.

A mother of five children, aged 15 to nine months, Victoria's husband Maurice has worked in the mines for two years.

So she understands only too well how women in a similar position can feel isolated and unsupported.

She aims to show them they're not alone.

"It's about valuing and recognising what they do as a mum and a wife and their ability to step in while Dad is away because they've got to be Dad as well," she said.

Then there's the men's point of view.

"What my husband says to me too is when they're underground it's dangerous and they need to have their mind on the job.

"And when they're worrying because Mum's not coping at home, or the kids are playing up, their mind isn't on the job so they could do silly things and it's dangerous.

"And that's how accidents happen."

The support group's first meeting is at Yeppoon Coffee Club on July 26 at 10am. Women can just turn up.

Depending on response, Ms Murray may also expand groups to Rockhampton or beyond and is also putting up a Facebook page.

"I want the group to be more than just saying hello as you drop the kids off at school because you need to have connection - you need to have relationships," she said.

For details, phone 0437 270 676.



  • Sign your children or yourself up for a sporting team.
  • Hang out at stores. For example, if you love scrapbooking, hang out at a craft supplies store and start chatting with fellow enthusiasts.
  • Enrol in a class or start a new hobby.
  • Circulate. You'll never meet anyone at home so go to movie nights, fetes, exhibits and the like.

Topics:  parenting rockhampton support group

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