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Grandmother of ten Carla Ottaviano never dreamed she would be working for Townsville’s premier hotel and casino – The Ville – when she started a Certificate III in Hospitality with the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys Dream, Believe, Achieve program.

Beginning her career in the food service business at 16, Carla worked in her father’s fish shop before moving into the hospitality industry, working for a local café throughout her early twenties.

Completing an industry qualification wasn't an option for Carla while she worked to support her growing family, but she jumped at the opportunity when she heard about the Cowboys’ training and employment program.

Dream, Believe, Achieve taught me everything I needed to know in hospitality and what I do in my job today; it was a wonderful experience and has taught me a lot,” Carla said.

“The training has changed my life in so many ways that I never thought would be possible.”

Not only has the course provided Carla with the skills she needs for her new career, but she says it has also changed her as a person and the way she approaches life.

“It has changed the way I dress, and speak and approach people; getting up and going to work for myself and for my kids is a beautiful feeling.”

The latest cohort of Dream, Believe, Achieve students are currently in training, with over 30 students enrolling in the Certificate III course.

Cowboys general manager – community Fiona Pelling said the program has seen success across the board with students from all backgrounds.

“It's so rewarding to hear the personal success stories and understand that it is all because of the strength of our program course work and industry relationships,” Ms Pelling said.

“We work closely with our training provider Allara Learning and industry partners to ensure we deliver a supportive program to give our students the best chance at achieving their dreams.”

For the latest group of Dream, Believe, Achieve participants, Carla had this to say:

“Put your mind to it, and believe in yourself. Set your goal and get out there and achieve it, and let no one stand in your way – it’s your dream, no excuses!”

The Dream, Believe, Achieve training and employment program delivers accredited courses to unemployed and disadvantaged North Queenslanders, with mentoring support to assist in completing training and securing ongoing paid employment.

The program focuses on providing appropriate training and qualifications to North Queenslanders aspiring to work in specific industry vocations and then assisting them to take the next step in converting their acquired skills into paid employment.

Dream, Believe, Achieve recently received ongoing funding through a Skilling Queenslanders for Work grant announced by Queensland Minister for Training and Skills Yvette D’Ath.

For more information on the program, please contact Marian Malua on 07 4773 0782 or

Acknowledgement of Country

North Queensland Cowboys respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.