“The path that my family have had to traverse is not one that we would have chosen – we were given no choice. Like most people, the goals and dreams that my husband and I envisaged for our family did NOT include the chaos that comes following a workplace fatality.” quotes Helen.
For the first seven years following her husband’s death, Helen was focussed on rebuilding a ‘normal’ life for their three children. Following through with the legal repercussions of her husband’s death, completing her university degree (with a renewed sense of urgency) and documenting their journey.
Despite the inevitable heartache and grief that has become such a ‘normalised’ circumstance for Helens’ family - the overwhelming motivator for her comes from the potential opportunity to prevent others experiencing what their family have had to endure.
Now that her three children are independent, Helen has the opportunity to devote more time to this passion of hers – a desire to do whatever is humanly possible to prevent others having to experience what her family have endured. This also includes ongoing activities toward the development of improved support networks for families and individuals following a workplace fatality and this developed out of the realisation, through contact with other family members and associated agencies and subsequent research, that the system has remained largely unchanged and has many gaps that must be rectified.
From 2017 Helen will be co-presenting with her son, Cody. Cody's work history covers three industry areas (all inherently hazardous) - fishing, mining and construction.
Helen's presentation is predominantly based on the 'ripple effect' of such an event – particularly from the perspective of a wife and mother - and her observations of how that impacted on each of her three children, over time, however for your audience to be able to hear it directly from an affected child, who was aged four at the time, will undoubtedly add another dimension.
Cody's personal perspective will be seen through the eyes of a child; a teenager a young adult and now, as a 29 year old man.