We believe that hospitality
can transform lives.

Here’s our story.
Be part of it.

We believe that hospitality can transform lives.

In 2010 we cooked up a way to make that happen.

We knew heaps of young people hungry for hospitality jobs but facing barriers to getting them. We brought them together with mentors keen to share knowledge and networks, then mixed in sponsors and restaurants ready to create a new kind of dining experience.

We created the first Scarf Dinners season. It was a recipe for success.

Now Scarf pops up in a new Melbourne restaurant every season. Young people get hands-on experience and real confidence to get real industry jobs. They do it in a space where creativity thrives, individuality reigns and high fives are just part of the process.

Diners love seeing the training and mentoring first hand, love being part of something much bigger, and love the moveable feast that is Scarf.

We’re Scarf. Join us for dinner, and do more than dine.


Watch Scarf on video


Our mission, values & FAQ

Book a Scarf Dinner and do more than dine.

Spring Scarf Dinners at Auction Rooms

Autumn Scarf Dinners will be announced in February 2018. Sign up here to get all the details on future Scarf Dinners and special events.


Spring Scarf Dinners ran on Tuesday nights at Auction Rooms, North Melbourne between 26 September – 21 November 2017. The Auction Rooms chefs did the cooking; they’d created a delicious two course set menu (entree + main with choice, $45 per person). Dishes include ‘Crab and sweetcorn risotto’, ‘Fried haloumi, peach, asparagus, mint’ and ‘Pressed lamb shoulder, tomato, basil, fiore di latte’.

Scarf trainees are young people seeking protection, and those from refugee and migrant backgrounds who face barriers to work. During the Spring Scarf season, they engaged in a bunch of training sessions which spanned formal service, wine, cocktails, beer, coffee and more. Then, during Tuesday night Scarf Dinners, the trainees learned the ins and outs of front of house service, whilst being supported by their mentors, who came from fantastic venues like Cumulus Up, Garden State Hotel, O.MY and Market Lane. Scarf programs offer a chance for trainees to build their knowledge, skills, confidence and networks, whilst engaging in paid work experience during Scarf Dinners.

As always, we offered a fabulous drinks list thanks to generous support from Punt Road Wines, Little Creatures, The West Winds Gin, STARWARD Whisky, Casa Mariol Vermut Negre, Daylesford & Hepburn Mineral Springs Co, Vertue of the Coffee Drink and Larsen & Thompson tea. Please note Scarf Dinners are not BYO.

Previous Scarf seasons have been held at The Grace DarlingThe LincolnThe Robert Burns HotelHigher Ground MelbourneRupert on RupertMesa Verde, Top Paddock and Markov.

If you have a Scarf Dinners Gift Certificate and would like to book a Scarf Dinner, please email bookings@scarfcommunity.org.

If you have any difficulty making a booking, please call 0488 772 911.

Dine with us

We recommend making your booking on a computer/laptop/tablet, rather than a mobile phone.

Book a Scarf Dinner on any Tuesday night between 26 September – 21 November (excluding 7 November) using the Dimmi calendar below, or via the Dimmi website. If you have any issues making a booking, please call 0488 772 911. If you have a gift certificate you’d like to redeem, please email bookings@scarfcommunity.org with your preferred date and time.

Meet some people from Scarf. They’re what it’s all about.





Winter Scarf 2012

No35 at Sofitel

“After Scarf, it’s all different. I feel ready to get a job because I gained more confidence. I would say to friend if you really want to get more experience go to Scarf.”



Autumn Scarf 2014

Bar person,
The Penny Black

“It’s less stressful working with mentors during dinner, they stand to the side and watch me lead. Sometimes I laugh—these skills are so hard at first, but get easier with practice at Scarf.”



Winter Scarf 2012

Waiter and wine buyer,
Cumulus Inc

“We all started out somewhere. It feels great to help young people come out of their shells and show their personality. At the end of it all, such heartfelt thanks… you see it in their eyes.”



Autumn & Spring Scarf 2014

Cellar Door,
Oakvale Wines

“Trainees get far more than a skill set from the program. You see confidence build, friendships flourish, it’s amazing to see how far they’ve come in 10 weeks. And it’s amazing to see them so happy.”

The Scarf Team

Hannah Colman, Scarf community cofounder and Manager

Hannah Colman

& General Manager

Liz, Scarf community

Liz Grady

Partnerships &
Communications Manager

Jonny Ainscough, Restaurant manager

Jonny Ainscough

Restaurant Manager

Ruth Langley, Training Manager

Ruth Langley

Training Manager

Mae Vincent

Wellbeing Worker

Gabs, lead mentor

Gabriel De Melo Freire

Volunteer Lead Mentor

Rieko Indra

Volunteer Lead Mentor

Christos, Scarf community mentor

Christos Vafeas

Volunteer Lead Mentor

Leigh Oliver

Volunteer Lead Mentor

Melissa Ross

Volunteer Bookings Coordinator

Our volunteers transform lives.
Here’s how it works.

Hospitality mentoring

Scarf is all about awesome volunteers.

Volunteering at Scarf is an inspirational experience. You share your hard-earned knowledge with amazing young people in weekly training sessions at great Melbourne venues.

You sign up for a 10 week Scarf season, and we work out the area in which you can best support young trainees. There’s front of house, kitchen, and employment support.

You spend about 6 hours per week mentoring 8 young people. They’re super engaged and heaps of fun, which suits the mentoring model. This is not a classroom! It’s real experience for the real world.

Got a skill? Get on board!

Scarf works with all kinds of professionals as volunteers. From photographers to filmmakers, from makers to marketers, from designers to dogsbodies. Whatever your skill, you can be part of something bigger and help hospitality transform lives.

Our partners are the bee’s knees. And we’re pretty good partners ourselves.


Become a Scarf partner restaurant—it’s a great move. You’ll join over 20 restaurants like Higher Ground, The LincolnEpocha, Mesa Verde, and Top Paddock who’ve proudly served thousands of loyal Scarf diners.

Partnering with Scarf means showcasing your food to over 700 Scarf diners over 8 weeks. It means the kind of media you can’t buy, in places like The Age, Broadsheet, Time Out and Peppermint.

It’s a top shelf operation. From the calibre of sponsored product, to the mentors from Melbourne’s best restaurants. Partnering with Scarf creates real industry buzz. And you’ll find out why your restaurant is better than any classroom to the young people whose careers you’ll ignite.

Why partnering with Scarf is such a great move…


Sponsoring Scarf means more than just supporting a worthwhile social enterprise. It means your product served in Melbourne’s best restaurants, and a media profile with a difference. Your products make Scarf possible, so you get a mountain of gratitude. But they do more than that. In the hands of passionate learners, your products become touchstones for a new generation of hospitality professionals.

sponsor-dimmi      Screen Shot 2017-08-30 at 4.09.05 PMsponsor-westwind     Vertue coffee    sponsor-littlecreaturessponsor-daylesfordspring
sponsor-mountzerooliveslarsen and thompson logotypsy logo for website  sponsor-KelvinLogo  RVB de base ladro restaurant melbournevermut Melbourne   Kitty Somerset Melbourne
tuft   LoaferBread       nest-coworking-logo    CHT logoStarward logo


Big thanks and big ups to Scarf’s funders, who know where to put a dollar to make a difference:

Morris Family Foundation logo  accor   Screen Shot 2017-08-30 at 4.49.01 PM   Screen Shot 2017-08-30 at 4.50.05 PMgandel-logo-200x200222 Westpac logo - Community grant recipient copy

Real knowledge. Real experience.
Real jobs.

Training at Scarf

Scarf trainees are amazing young people. They face barriers to employment but haven’t given up. They’re keen to learn, keen to bust into an industry that they know can change their lives.

Scarf’s approach to training is simple: real knowledge and real experience gets real jobs.

The trainees get real knowledge at training sessions in industry hotspots. They learn beer at Little Creatures and coffee at The Vertue of the Coffee Drink, they learn bar and cocktails at Kelvin and Kitty Somerset, and they learn wine from Jenny ‘The Wine Whitch’ Polack.

Trainees then serve real diners at killer Melbourne restaurants, with on-the-spot support from heavyweight hospitality mentors who volunteer with a passion to share their skills.

After 10 weeks Scarf trainees are ready for real jobs, and with industry training at Ladro to beef up their interview skills, 70% of Scarf graduates go on to employment.

It’s a model we’re proud of.

See what training at Scarf looks like…

Who are the trainees at Scarf?
Read our FAQ to find out more.

Autumn Scarf ’18 Trainee Referrals
Autumn Scarf ’18 trainee referrals will open in February 2018. For a guide to eligibility and program structure, read a recent recruitment newsletter here. To be placed on the trainee referral mailing list, please enter your email address below.

What we say. What you say.

Scarf in the media

Scarf in the media

Check us out in publications like The Age, Broadsheet, Time Out and Peppermint. Transforming lives makes great press, so there’s plenty more to read…

We look like this

This is what we look like

Check out Scarf on video. Then take a squiz at these photos; they’re quite awesome. You can download and use them for media.

Media releases

Scarf media releases

It’s how we talk about ourselves to the people who talk about us. It’s a collection of media releases that may change your life. Ahem.

Buy your way into our hearts.

Workplace Giving

Scarf is a member of one of Australia’s leading Workplace Giving platforms, Good2Give.

If you’d like to know more about workplace giving and how you can support Scarf, email our Partnerships and Communications Manager, Liz – liz@scarfcommunity.org.


If you can’t get to a Scarf Dinner, you can contribute by making a tax deductible donation to Scarf.

Scarf is a registered charity with Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status, and donations are used for training costs and trainee wages.

Click here to donate.

Have You Heard the News?

Scarf launches ‘Do More Than Drink’ in 47 Melbourne bars

November 22nd, 2017|

We're about to launch our third Do More Than Drink campaign with overwhelming support from the Melbourne bar scene. The campaign will run from 3 – 10 December and 47 of Melbourne’s favourite bars have [...]

Spotlight on a Sponsor: Punt Road Wines

October 22nd, 2017|

We're currently enjoying sponsorship from the fabulous folk at Punt Road Wines in the Yarra Valley. During Spring Scarf '17 Dinners at Auction Rooms, we're serving Punt Road's 2012 Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir, 2017 Pinot Gris, [...]

Scarf ‘Pop Up’ Dinners at Copper Pot Seddon

September 1st, 2017|

Over the years, plenty of people have asked us when Scarf Dinners will head west! Well, we're pretty darn excited to announce we are running two Scarf 'Pop Up' Dinners at the renowned Copper Pot Seddon. These dinners [...]

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