Fiona Vickery (Wayne Vickery, husband, 45)

Vickery Family

"My husband died on a construction site. It’s what happened next that saved us."
(image: Jeffrey Chan, Fairfax)

‘My husband Wayne was killed on 12 December 2011 when a grader backed over him at his workplace. At the time, our daughter was 15 years old and our son was 13 years old. It devastated us.

The CFMEU ACT Branch reached out to us from day one. They were there when the police visited our home in Yass on that awful day, and they are still with us today.

Help when we needed it most

You get a lot of information coming your way when appalling things happen – important things that are very difficult to process through the fog of shock. The CFMEU boys quietly and patiently listed what needed to be done straightaway, and what could wait. And they made sure that Wayne’s death benefits, compensation claim, superannuation, and entitlements such as long service leave, were all covered off.

They wrote it all down for me, so I could go back to it when the shock wore off.

Your generosity gave us hope

CFMEU ACT then ran an appeal to help me support the kids. Local CFMEU guys, and workers from as far away as Western Australia, dug deep and presented us with $70,000 – an astonishing amount of money that made all the difference to this little family.

And their support has been ongoing. They still continually touch base with me, to see how I’m going, and if they can help in any way. In fact, our son is going to be helped once again by the boys, with a job.

I go to Court about once a month now, and their help has been invaluable. They introduced me to compensation lawyers, Slater + Gordon, when my lawyer in Yass could no longer help with ACT compensation law.

Our battle continues

The case is ongoing. It will finally return to the Supreme Court next month, when the employer Wayne worked for, will plead guilty to breaching the OHS Act.

If the Coroner does not get enough information from this hearing, an inquest will be held.

The CFMEU remember their own

The CFMEU lobbied the ACT Government and got a memorial park bench in Wayne’s name, where he was killed.

They not only gathered around me in my time of need; their care and concern has been ongoing. These are good people, who are often only known for the heavy lifting they have to do to keep their members safe at work. It’s time they were recognised for the unsung work they do for members’ families and our community.’

The CFMEU is Australia's main trade union in construction, forestry and furnishing products, mining and energy production.

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