Matt Johnson was a 31 year old Machine Operator for BGC Contracting in Koolyanobbing. He’d been working for the company for three years, the last two years on a two week on, one week off roster, and regularly drove to work in the Wheatbelt from the South West home he shared with his wife Kelly, and two young children – six year old Mason, and Emmy, who is four.
On June 18, 2016, the family’s life was to change irrevocably when Matt was involved in a fatal car accident on the way to begin his two week shift. The Police came to the house to break the tragic news, and shortly afterwards, Kelly informed Matt’s work.
A short while after the accident, Kelly received a call from BGC to let her know about the assistance Miners’ Promise could offer.
Kelly had never heard of Miners’ Promise before and investigated immediately.
“When I looked at the website and realised what Miners’ Promise was all about, I knew this was exactly the type of support I needed,” said Kelly.
“I was in a daze. You just don’t have any idea before something like this happens to you just how complicated things are when someone dies.
“Matt didn’t have a Will for one thing. How many 31 year olds do? They’re invincible right? But that meant I wasn’t his automatic benefactor, which I didn’t realize. We didn’t have any income protection or life insurance either, and the house we live in is a rental. Death certificates can take a really long time to be issued and everyone wants proof before they can do anything. It wasn’t long before this had all started to become overwhelming. So I jumped at the chance of some support to help me through,” she said.
Kelly rang BGC back and they called Miners’ Promise for her. A family support advisor (FSA) went out to visit her within a day or two to meet with Kelly in her home and to work out a plan of action.
“The FSA had a big list of exactly who to contact and what needed doing. This included help with bills and finance to keep us on track whilst all the paperwork was sorted out. But the most valuable aspect of the service was the emotional support.
“Miners’ Promise know all the processes and procedures and beaurocracy that follow someone’s death. They know everything that needs to be done, who to contact regarding probate, the public trustees etc and, in what order and when.
“Not only that, our FSA took care of it all. I didn’t have to make any of those calls, which left me free to begin coping with my own grief and to look after my two confused and devastated children,” said Kelly.
Three months on Kelly is still only beginning to come to terms with the loss of her husband Matt. However, she is full of nothing but praise for the service Miners’ Promise offers to member’s families following a tragedy.
“Everyone should know about Miners’ Promise and everyone associated with our industry should be a member. One day when I am ready, I hope to be able to help get that message out to even more people so something good can come out of this all.”
“The help I received from Miners’ Promise has enabled me to stay on track financially. But more importantly, the experience of working with the FSA has helped empower me to go on and find some purpose and hope for the future,” said Kelly.