People and culture

JUNE 2024

It’s official! We’re Mates in Mining accredited

On Thursday 13 June 2024, we were pleased to host the Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters, as she attended our Mates in Mining accreditation celebration with us.

The partnership between Mates in Mining and Fosterville Gold Mine began in 2021, when it was decided that we needed to take a proactive approach in fostering a mentally healthy workplace and ensuring that its employees have the necessary skills and support to address mental health issues. Mates in Mining were the chosen partner in this goal due to their mining industry experience and the alignment of values between the two companies, in particular those being trust and respect.

The MATES program creates a structure of mates helping mates on site, comprising evidence-based training and support for workers and their families who may be doing it tough.

To achieve accreditation, FGM has completed the three Mates in Mining programs:

  • 85% of employees have completed General Awareness Training which is designed to reduce stigma around mental health and provide skills necessary to support a mate in distress. General Awareness sessions are ongoing and these skills are continuously ‘refreshed’ with the workforce.
  • 100 current employees have completed the Connector Training Program, whereby they have learnt skills to keep someone safe in a crisis, while at the same time connecting them to professional help. The Mates in Mining program recommends that for every 20 employees, one person around them has completed the Connector training. There has been an overwhelming number of employees volunteer to expand their skills in this space, showing the dedication of all employees to improving the mental health of themselves and those around them.
  • 7 employees have completed a two-day ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) Program where they have undertaken internationally recognised education in responding to suicide signals, with the objective of making this person safe.

This significant achievement has been recognised by local member Lisa Chesters MP, who was in attendance at the event.

Chris Lockwood, National CEO of MATES, was onsite to present the accreditation plaque to Fosterville Gold Mine and he commended Agnico Eagle and Fosterville Gold Mine for their dedication and leadership in mental health initiatives within the mining sector. "The accreditation of Fosterville Gold Mine demonstrates a significant commitment to the mental well-being of their workforce. By equipping employees with the skills to support one another, they are setting a standard for the industry. We are proud to partner with them in creating a safer and more supportive working environment," said Lockwood.

The MATES in Mining program is a pivotal initiative aimed at reducing the high rates of suicide and improving mental health among workers in the mining industry. Fosterville Gold Mine’s comprehensive training efforts ensure that their workforce is not only aware of mental health issues but also empowered to take action in supporting their colleagues.

Fosterville Gold Mine is dedicated to maintaining a workplace where mental health is prioritised, and this accreditation is a testament to their ongoing commitment to their employees' well-being.