Growing stronger together

April 29, 2015
Training Program Opens Doors to Bright New Future


For immediate release

April 29 2015


Training program opens doors to bright new future A Northern Futures graduate has been selected to take part in a global project run by the Cotton On Group’s Cotton On Foundation.

Tom Fogarty, 53, who is now employed fulltime at the Cotton On Group Distribution Centre (DC) in Lara, is one of 10 representatives from the Group’s global DC network who will travel to Mannya, Southern Uganda, as part of a newly implemented reward and recognition program.

Mr Fogarty said he was stunned when told he had been selected to participate in the program.

“If you’d said five years ago I’d be heading to Africa to assist the Cotton On Foundation, I wouldn’t have believed you. I’m really grateful for the opportunity,”

Mr Fogarty said. Mr Fogarty started with Northern Futures following a 2009 redundancy from his previous employer of 25 years, Geelong’s GrainCorp.

He completed a Certificate II in Transport and Logistics (Warehousing) and was part of the first intake in the 180 Degrees Program, a joint initiative launched in 2012 between Northern Futures and the Cotton On Group.

The program provides support and mentoring for Northern Futures trainees during a 12 month placement at the company’s DC in Lara. On completion of his placement, Mr Fogarty was offered a permanent position and is now an integral part of the centre’s recycling operation.

Established in 2007, the Cotton On Foundation is the Cotton On Group’s philanthropic arm, funding projects in Australia and overseas in a unique partnership with customers and employees. Cotton On Foundation products such as bottled water and bracelets are sold in over 1,000 Cotton On Group stores globally with proceeds going straight to the organisation’s projects.

During the trip, Mr Fogarty and the team will experience firsthand the progress the Cotton On Foundation has made in Southern Uganda, and will work with the community to contribute to projects on the ground.

Northern Futures Project Manager, Helen Long, said Mr Fogarty was a worthy recipient of the program and it was a real thrill to see him selected.

“Tom has come such a long way since his early days with Northern Futures. He had struggled to find work but was receptive to further training and just needed that extra bit of help to find a job that suited him,” Ms Long said.

“He has proven to be an incredibly reliable and consistent worker who has successfully completed everything required of him. This is a wonderful opportunity for him and we couldn’t be happier.”

Mr Fogarty and the rest of the team leave for Southern Uganda in July. -ENDS

Media inquiries contact: Pauline Braniff McClusky & Co Strategic Communications 0448815637

About Northern Futures

Northern Futures is a collaborative partnership between members of the Geelong community including government, business, schools and community groups working together to identify opportunities for improved economy, jobs and education and training for the Northern Suburbs. It is one of many major initiatives (either planned or underway) that aim to deliver an integrated approach to the regeneration of the Northern Suburbs through development of human and physical capital. Central to Northern Futures is a local approach to project delivery and services that will ensure a future of growth, prosperity and focus for the northern suburbs.