Cowboys - Dream, Believe, Achieve

North Queensland Cowboys team up with Allara Learning to build careers & futures


Since the club’s inception in 1995, the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys have navigated the highs and lows of professional sport to emerge as a strong contender within the National Rugby League competition and a cornerstone of the North Queensland economy. Local community programs and initiatives are a key part of the club's identity.


As a part of the ‘Dream Believe, Achieve’ intiative the North Queensland Cowboys wanted to develop a hospitality training program in response to the lower than average rates of Indigenous Australians being employed in the hospitality industry.

Key challenges:

  • Long-term and systemic unemployed participants
  • Participants had little previous educational experience
  • Participants had little or no previous employment experience
  • High rate of unemployment within the local area
  • Lower than average rates of Indigenous Australians being employed in the hospitality industry
  • Program to be delivered across all levels of age demographic
  • Participants carried preconceived ideas on cultural differences and barriers

With support from the Queensland Government’s Department of Education and Training, Allara Learning delivered a nationally recognised SIT30616 Certificate III in Hospitality qualification to local Indigenous students from Townsville and the surrounding areas.

The program also provided participants with work experience and employment opportunities in the hospitality industry after their training.

The 6-week intensive training component of the program was delivered at 1300 SMILES stadium. The venue provided real working environments within the stadium’s restaurants, bars and food preparation areas.

Professional trainers from Allara Learning delivered a mix of classroom-based and hands-on instruction to the students, while individualised support was provided by a dedicated Indigenous Cowboys' mentor.

Past and present players from the Cowboys also visited the classes to encourage and inspire the trainees.

As well as developing practical skills the course also helped students build their confidence and self-esteem.

Allara Learning is critical to the success of the Cowboys' Dream, Believe, Achieve Hospitality program. The training they deliver is outstanding and provides the participants with a solid platform to launch a successful career. Industry feedback on our successful participants reflects that the quality of the training provided meets and supports their industry need.
  • High level of completion - over 80% of participants who commenced the program completed
  • High level of employment - over 60% of participants moved into paid employment in various hospitality roles within the first month of graduating
  • Cowboys extremely impressed by Allara Learning’s ability to deliver on expectations
  • Following the successful completion of Allara Learning’s course the Cowboys committed to four programs a year ongoing
  • Widespread media attention from NRL, Indigenous community, government and industry publications
  • The program was awarded ‘Community Training Initiative of the Year’ at the Regional Queensland Training Awards 2017
Quality training provides the best platform for individuals to launch their career in their industry of choice. Whether returning to the work force, changing career pathways or just formalising industry skills with accreditation, the combination of quality training and mentor support that then links to paid employment is a model that works.