People and culture
Sport in rural communities connects people on and off the playing field. For Monique Williams, a Fosterville Gold Mine Control Room Operator, the Rochester Football and Netball Club was where she and her sisters started connecting with local sporting clubs. Her Dad coached football teams for over sixteen years, and her Nan, now in her early eighties, is still deeply involved in keeping the club running.
Monique never imagined the impact the recent floods would have on every person in her family and community. “It’s the physical damage and devastation of homes. The trauma of loss and not knowing what is next - being out of step and time with everyday routine,” says Monique. “It’s the isolation. People are living in temporary accommodation out of town, and will they come back to town? Our spaces, where we go to connect, are uninhabitable.”
She has described these places of connection as momentarily lost.
“During the floods, I appreciated Fosterville Gold Mine being there,” she said. “I could help my family and friends without taking leave, and teams of Fosterville Gold Mine staff came to help us prepare and recover from the flood.”
She describes the feeling of Rochester being a ghost town afterwards, with empty driveways and piles of rubbish everywhere. “It gave you a feeling of hopelessness.”
“Receiving a call, early December, to come along to a gathering of community members at the recreation reserve with Fosterville Gold Mine was unexpected,” she recounts. “It was also unexpected that Fosterville Gold Mine would pledge $750,000 to support our community to recover from the devastating floods at this event. After the announcement, I felt we could continue to hope and plan for the future."
“I am proud to wear my Fosterville Gold Mine uniform in the streets of Rochester. Fosterville Gold Mine has many staff living in small communities and knows the importance and has the means to provide financial and other support to communities when they need it."
Find out about the future of operations at the Fosterville Gold Mine here.