They’re dongas – but not as you know them

They’re dongas – but not as you know them

These are the dongas designed by FIFO workers for FIFO workers.

If you want to know what workers want, ask them. That’s what the WA Mining Club Young Professionals did for their innovative Design a Donga collaboration.

The designs unveiled at an industry function emphasised privacy, functionality and better telecommunications and were based on responses from hundreds of FIFO workers on minesites across WA who took part in a four-month online survey initiated by the Young Professionals.

While most workers who took part in the survey considered their existing site accommodation was satisfactory, they said it was an important factor in deciding whether to start work or continue working in a FIFO role.

The four design improvements considered most important were functionality of storage, better sound-proofing and acoustics, improved telecommunications including WIFI, and increased layout functionality, particularly with ensuite bathrooms.

Young Professionals chairperson Samantha Ware said the design project was innovative and ambitious and the Club was proud to present the results to the wider mining community.

“We have heard from the survey that FIFO workers are generally happy with accommodation on-site,” Ms Ware said. “However, there is a passion for emerging technologies, sustainable building practices and sound proofing.”

Grounded Construction Group and Modular WA, the WA Mining Club’s “Design a Donga” partners,  used the survey results to  produce two designs.

One donga was a fully refurbished and the other was newly built.

The refurbished donga offers a quick, cost-effective approach for companies with established mining camps.

The newly built donga improves privacy and comfort for FIFO workers, with features including a concrete base floor, sound-proofing insulation and Gyprock walls, and a focus on comfort while remaining cost effective and sustainable.

Grounded Construction Group Managing Director Paul Natoli said the company was thrilled to be part of such an exciting and creative project.

“The design of the new dongas is very much inspired by the feedback we received from hundreds of FIFO workers,” he said.

The WA Mining Club established the Young Professionals sub-committee in late 2018 to assist emerging leaders with networking opportunities. It will continue to engage with students, young professionals and industry leaders through community initiatives and events during 2020.