The FIFO Sexual Health Project - Sexual Health Quarters
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The FIFO Sexual Health Project

Mobile workers are identified as a priority population in National STI strategy, but previously excluded in interventions. They face reduced access to STI prevention methods such as STI testing and condoms and may experience greater difficulty in completing STI treatment.
Sexual Health Quarters (SHQ) provides sexual and reproductive health care in central Perth, Western Australia, and received funding to deliver a 2-year pilot project with the objectives:
  1. To increase testing and treatment rates for BBVs and STIs in the WA FIFO populations.
  2. To increase awareness and uptake of BBV and STI prevention strategies/behaviours.
  3. To explore innovative ways to promote BBV and STI testing.
This project was delivered in partnership with a mining company, relying on collaboration and codesign in all aspects of project delivery. By request of our mining company partner, all names and locations have been omitted. The following activities were delivered as part of the project:
A training course was co-developed and co-delivered online to Health and Safety staff across WA. Six sessions were delivered to a total 69 participants. A recorded session was watched by 123 participants. This training aimed to increase knowledge of STIs and increase confidence to manage conversations around STIs, testing and referral. Clinical staff were also encouraged to complete ASHM’s STI Testing in Primary Care online modules, with 20 staff completing this optional training.


Three supplementary sessions were also delivered before the launch of the health promotion campaign and were also delivered to staff from the Village Services Provider.


Evaluation demonstrated:
  • 100% of those who completed evaluation reported that their knowledge about sexual health, STIs, and BBVs had improved due to the training, and 96% reported that their confidence improved.
  • The average score for knowledge of mental health staff more than doubled, increasing from 3.83 to 8 (out of a possible 10).
Following the engagement of clinical staff, a statewide health promotion campaign was delivered to 22 FIFO villages and the mining partners head offices. The campaign was visible to an approximate 10,304 FIFO workers.


Delivering this campaign following the training of clinical staff was intended so that if workers had queries or questions regarding sexual health, they would be adequately supported by the clinicians onsite. This also provided greater insight into how we could engage with FIFO workers, ultimately influencing how the campaign was designed and deployed.


The campaign included the following resources:




Displayed in both print and digital version across all locations (click image to view full size):



Personal Safety Packs


These contained 3 condoms and 3 sachets of lube, alongside information about safer sex, consent, STI testing, and where to go for help for sexual health concerns. Approximately 1500 safety packs were distributed across WA.


Table Talkers


Printed and displayed in communal areas across the villages, this included info on sexual health and a QR code taking visitors to a sexual health quiz.




A webpage was created (, with 50 visits recorded throughout the project. Of these visitors, 6 then visited the ‘book appointment’ page.




A confidential phoneline intended for FIFO workers was provided, integrated into Sexual Health Quarters existing sexual health helpline. This helpline was promoted on all campaign materials. FIFO workers did not engage with the phoneline, nor did they engage with their existing telehealth services provider.


Overall, the health promotion campaign was positively received by clinical staff and FIFO workers.
SHQ Educators ran stalls at three regional FIFO villages for a week, immediately following the health promotion campaign. This stall aimed to begin conversations with FIFO workers about sexual health, with a focus on STI testing and prevention methods.


A spinning wheel quiz activity was successful in providing topics for discussion, FIFO workers were eager to participate in activities and comfortable to ask questions, with some enquiring if testing was available onsite. The stalls saw a strong positive response overall, with no negative interactions recorded. A total of 530 unique interactions were recorded throughout the week.


Knowledge was not poor overall, but suggested low awareness of the syphilis outbreak, and poor knowledge of HIV and hepatitis.
FIFO workers experience reduced access to condoms and testing services – two crucial STI prevention methods. This is influenced by the resource sector’s hesitation around the topic of sexual health, negatively impacted by the recent scrutiny of FIFO workplace cultural and sexual harassment. This resulted in our project being unable to deliver STI testing on FIFO villages as initially planned, alongside the barriers that COVID19 presented. It is unlikely that this hesitation will shift in the near future, suggesting that we need to continue to engage with FIFO workers to decrease the barriers they face.


Regardless, the FIFO sexual health project succeeded in exploring unique avenues for promotion and education around sexual health and STIs for FIFO workers, increasing their capacity to access STI testing and other prevention methods.


  • Continue to engage with the resource sector and related stakeholders so sexual health continues to be present as a relevant health issue.
  • Continue to offer health promotion campaigns to the sector, and in cities in towns where FIFO work is prevalent.
  • Explore online training as an avenue for upskilling clinicians working with FIFO workers.
  • Involve health & safety and facilities staff in FIFO worker initiatives, they provide unique insight and observations that influenced the development of our project.
  • Offer opportunistic STI testing with FIFO workers.
  • Seek to provide FIFO worker villages and sites with condom access.

More Information

If you would like to discuss the FIFO Sexual Health Project in greater detail, please contact the Project Coordinator Maddi Whittle, or (08) 6375 7700



We would like to extend our gratitude to the Australian Department of Health for providing us
with funding to deliver this project, and to the mining company that allowed us to deliver this

Partner with SHQ

A strong emphasis on physical and mental health is crucial in any workplace, but it becomes even more essential in FIFO communities where employees are often away from their families and support networks for extended periods. By implementing SHQ’s tailored program, companies can proactively address and prevent potential issues related to sexual health. By promoting healthy behaviours and providing employees with the necessary resources, they are better equipped to navigate potential challenges associated with the FIFO lifestyle.

Investing in the well-being of your employees creates an inclusive and caring work environment leading to higher employee retention rates, improved team dynamics, a positive brand image, and a workforce that can thrive both personally and professionally.

While this program was designed for the mining and resources industry, it can be tailored to meet the needs of any organisation.

Enquire about partnering with SHQ