Mining safety campaigner
WAState RecipientLocal Hero2012
Helen Fitzroy has devoted her life to campaigning for greater mine safety and fighting for better support. When she lost her husband, Steve, 20 years ago in an underground mining accident in Western Australia, Helen was left with three young children. At the time, there were few support services for families of workers killed or permanently injured while working in WA's resources industry. Now that Helen’s children have grown up and are independent, she has refocused her energies, devoting her time to preventing other families having to experience what her family endured. The culmination of her efforts was Miners’ Promise, a not-for-profit scheme supported by BHP Billiton that offers immediate financial assistance in the event of death or permanent injury. The scheme covers mortgage repayments, car loans, daily living expenses, funeral costs, as well as emotional and trauma support, financial and legal advice. Helen has now written a book entitled Just a Number, which is an account of her life bringing up three young children on her own. She is now Deputy Chair of Miners’ Promise and is working to extend the scheme to other states. Thanks to Helen’s determination and tireless advocacy for resource workers’ safety and rights, their families will be properly supported should a mining accident occur.