Students from the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys “Dream, Believe, Achieve” program have shown their new hospitality skills to prospective employers and program partners at a special dinner this week.
Held at the George Coates Restaurant at TAFE Queensland North in Pimlico, the event was an opportunity for the students, all working towards their Certificate III in Hospitality, to gain valuable practical experience in dinner service.
Guests in attendance included the recently elected members for Townsville and Thuringowa, Scott Stewart and Aaron Harper, as well as Federal Member for Herbert Ewen Jones; Principal Indigenous Skills Development Officer – Qld Department of Education and Training, Moses Nelliman; and Qld Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Project Officer, Robbie Cedar.
Local corporate partners and employers also represented were Jupiters Townsville, the McManus Group (Ribs and Rumps, Coffee Club), Cowboys Leagues Club, Brothers Leagues Club, Mercure Townsville and Holiday Inn Townsville.
For program graduate John Dooley, a father of nine, the chance to become part of the Cowboys Dream, Believe, Achieve hospitality course was "a dream come true".
Moses Nelliman (DETE), Fiona Pelling (North Queensland Cowboys), Robyn Remfrey (student)
“I’ve always loved to cook and the Cowboys program has given me the chance to get the skills and qualifications to get me work in the industry. Hopefully my next step will be into an apprenticeship in cooking,” he said.
In partnership with TAFE Queensland North and with funding support from the Queensland Government, the 12-month Cowboys Dream, Believe, Achieve hospitality program began in October 2014 in response to the lower than average rates of Indigenous Australians being employed in the hospitality industry.
Providing 30 participants with skills in a variety of areas in the industry over a twelve-month period, Dream, Believe, Achieve also provides individualised support by a dedicated Cowboys Indigenous mentor as the students complete a Certificate III in Hospitality through TAFE Queensland North and then progress to a paid employment outcome.
The Indigenous mentor continues to work with students and the Cowboys’ extensive industry and commercial networks to secure work experience and job placements over the program period.
Cowboys General Manager – Community Relations Fiona Pelling spoke highly of the program participants after the event.
“The students who have put their skills and passion for working in the hospitality industry on display have done a fantastic job and I know they are all going to be successful in their new chosen careers," Ms Pelling said.
"This program wouldn’t have been possible without the Queensland Government's Indigenous Training Strategy initiative and the resulting partnerships with TAFE Queensland North and our local corporate partners and employers who have provided work experience and the opportunity for real job placements for our students."
Students Matthew Sorbello, Pam Layland and Robyn Remfrey
Main image: Aaron Harper (Qld State Member for Thuringowa), Arcadia Luty-Cloudy (student), Scott Stewart (Qld State Member for Townsville)