Building strong connections

Inaugural Founding Friend of NRL Cowboys House Fulton Hogan is taking a creative approach to building a diverse workforce that reflects the communities in which the civil and resources contractor operates. 

With the support of NRL Cowboys House ambassador Matthew Bowen, Fulton Hogan has unveiled an Indigenous-themed tanker, designed to encourage diversity and inclusion in communities and workplaces.

"Indigenous people make up ten per cent of Fulton Hogan’s Northern Region business, something that the company is working on replicating across Australia," Fulton Hogan CEO Nick Marinelli said.

“As the inaugural Founding Friend of NRL Cowboys House, we saw this partnership as a way to build strong connections between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, business and the broader community.

“Fulton Hogan will offer Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youths living at NRL Cowboys House the opportunity to try their hand in the construction sector through a variety of work experience, holiday job placements, mentoring, cadetships and apprenticeships.

“This taste of construction will break down any perceived barriers to joining our sector or going on to pursue a degree in engineering."

NRL Cowboys House ambassador Matthew Bowen said: “Having organisations such as Fulton Hogan signing up as a Founding Friend of the House is fantastic. Their commitment to the young people who will be moving from their remote homes to study here in Townsville speaks volumes and sends a clear welcome to their communities and families.”    

Fulton Hogan worked with Indigenous-owned strategy and design practice Balarinji to create an iconic look for their bitumen tankers.

"Having a way to visually demonstrate our commitment to diversity and inclusion is fantastic," Fulton Hogan General Manager Richard Pearson said.

"The Balarinji design tells a story of clan groups gathering by clear fresh water after many days of travel through spinifex and sandhills – a place for food and rest out of the scorching heat of the bush sun.

“These tankers travel long distances, around 170,000 kilometres each year, through dry and sandy areas with the sun beating down on them. Each night our drivers, with their tankers, look for a safe area to bunk down for the night before they embark on their next leg of their journey.

“We have three tankers in our fleet featuring this Indigenous design, and I’m sure when they travel through remote communities, and are back home in Townsville, they will create conversation and connections.

“We’d encourage other North Queensland businesses to get behind NRL Cowboys House and join up as a Founding Friend of the House. In a few months, the first 25 students will be part of our community –let’s make them feel welcome and get the most out of this amazing experience.”

NRL Cowboys House will provide supported accommodation for up to 50 young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from remote areas in Northern Queensland, enabling them to access secondary education in Townsville.

Currently under construction, it will begin accommodating students at the start of the 2017 school year, providing lifechanging opportunities for some of the most disadvantaged students in the country.

Managed by the Cowboys Community Foundation, the charity arm of the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys, NRL Cowboys House is a joint initiative between the National Rugby League, North Queensland Toyota Cowboys, the Queensland Government and the Australian Government.

For more information on becoming a Founding Friend of NRL Cowboys House, visit cowboysfoundation.org.au.