Fly-in-fly-out: Designing a better fly-in-fly-out lifestyle in Western Australia

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Title

Developing Citizen Designers


Bloomsbury Publishing

Place of Publication

New York


School of Arts and Humanities / School of Medical and Health Sciences




Kueh, C., Medley, S., & Watson, J. (2016). Fly-in-fly-out: Designing a better fly-in-fly-out lifestyle in Western Australia. In E, Resnick (Ed), Developing Citizen Designers (pp. 240-244). New York: Bloomsbury Publishing.


Description: FIFO (fly-in/fly-out) refers to the lifestyle of workers who leave home to stay in a designated camp, mainly mine sites, for a period of time, and are back at home for a short period of time before repeating the process again. The increase in FIFO work patterns has exposed more Western Australian families to the repeated and cyclical absence of parents who adopt this mode of paid employment. FIFO families can experience loneliness, isolation, resentment, and difficulty readjusting to the frequent and repeated parting and reunions. Anecdotal evidence suggests the FIFO lifestyle causes relationship problems for couples, excessive alcohol use and drug use by workers, and increase risk of suicide.

This project focused on the development of effect communication pathways and platforms to assist families with FIFO parents(s)/partner to better manage the challenges associated with the FIFO lifestyle, and to help individuals or families that are planning to take up a FIFO lifestyle to understand and assess the potential situations. Addressing challenges facing FIFO communities, this project aimed to introduce a design-thinking process as a series of holistic strategies to define problems. develop and prototype ideas, and propose implementation pathways.

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