Writer re­veals the funny side of FIFO

Pilbara News - - Lifestyle - Ali­cia Perera

The fly-in fly-out life­style led by many in the Pil­bara is un­usual, and a new book gives an ir­rev­er­ent in­sider’s ac­count of what re­ally hap­pens on-site.

Co­me­dian and for­mer FIFO worker Xavier Toby has re­cently pub­lished Go­ing Out Of My Mined, a non-fic­tion work based on his time as a FIFO worker on a Queens­land coal mine. It is a fol­low-up to his 2014 book Min­ing My Own Busi­ness.

Toby, who also has an en­gi­neer­ing de­gree, said he started FIFO work sev­eral years ago to pay back debt.

“I was only out there for six months, which is a tiny amount of time com­pared to how long most peo­ple spend there,” he said.

“And while I was out there I chat­ted to lots of peo­ple and took note of my sur­round­ings.”

FIFO life also turned out to be a rich source of comic ma­te­rial.

In his book, Toby con­sid­ers its odd­i­ties such as peo­ple named Donk and Jokka and swear­ing as punc­tu­a­tion.

He said his se­cond book was more re­flec­tive on the wider im­pli­ca­tions of the FIFO life­style, which he de­scribed as a “five-star prison”.

“You have a cell … a donga — your meal times are set and, be­cause of the hours you work and re­stric­tions on travel, you can’t re­ally leave,” he said.

“But peo­ple are trad­ing time for money. So it’s an agree­ment they go into. It’s not ‘is this good, is this bad?’ — it’s com­pli­cated.”

Toby is pre­sent­ing a com­edy show about his FIFO time at the Perth Fringe Fes­ti­val this week.

Pic­ture: Xavier Toby

Co­me­dian Xavier Toby has a new book out about his time work­ing FIFO.

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