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    Scarf. Where dining makes a difference.

    A borrowed restaurant   +   trainee wait staff   +   mentors   +   professional chefs   

    +   various knitted bits   +   hungry, big-hearted customers   =   Scarf!

    At Scarf, we get people into jobs while adding flavour and heart to the hospitality industry. We provide hands-on training, mentoring and employment to young people who may not otherwise  have the opportunity.

    Scarf trainees get the chance to serve you, our restaurant guests, a delicious two-course set menu cooked by professional chefs. During these dinners, which happen on Mondays, trainees are guided by their mentors (clever and kind hospitality professionals). While we can’t promise that there will be no drips of wine or a perfect reciting of the menu, we can promise a unique, heartening, woolly and totally tasty evening. Remember that as a diner at Scarf, you are an integral part of the training process.

    We borrow restaurants when they would normally be closed in order to run Scarf dinners. We would love you to join us for a unique dining experience. See the ‘Dinners’ tab to find out where we’ll be next!

    Follow us on TwitterFacebook or Instagram, or sign up to our mailing list to make sure you hear the latest news about Scarf Monday Night Dinners!

     

    Photo: Menu at Scarf

    Scarf is a not-for-profit social enterprise based in Melbourne, Australia.

    Our Mission: To provide marginalised youth with hospitality knowledge, skills and experience in an encouraging space where individuality is seen as an asset. To foster social and professional networks so that these young people have the confidence and connections to get the job they want.

    What’s in a name… A scarf is an article of apparel that’s warm and comforting, friendly and flexible, secure and reliable. It can be crafted, knitted, woven or printed. It can be reassuringly modest or outrageously extrovert. It can be an expression of one’s personality or culture, or a show of support for a team or cause.

    In 1950s America, people used to use the expression “scarf it down” at the dinner table, which means to eat voraciously, especially when time is of the essence.

    Photo: Ordering at Scarf

    What We Do

    Hospitality training and mentoring

    Scarf’s 10-week hands-on hospitality training and mentoring programs make relevant training available to marginalised young people, allowing them to build skills, confidence, and social networks, as well as streamlining their path to employment in the hospitality industry.

    We invite young people who face barriers to fair training and employment opportunities to be front-of-house trainees in our program. We work with new migrants, refugees, asylum seekers, people with disabilities and Australian youth who are disengaged from education. Trainees are paid a wage for their work at Scarf.

    Our mentors are people who currently work in the hospitality industry. The mentor’s role is to provide relevant, up-to-date knowledge about the industry while the trainee builds their skill base. The mentors support the trainees during the dinner service and provide a connection into the hospitality industry, which is often the key to finding employment.

    Our 10-week programs see us running afternoon training sessions (wine education, formal service practices, cocktail training, beer education, coffee making and more), which are followed by a dinner service. During our Monday Night Dinners, Scarf trainees get hands-on experience in a real restaurant environment whilst being guided by their mentors.

    We work with each trainee on an individual basis, to help them find the style of dining that suits them, and then assist them in finding relevant, meaningful employment.

    “Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.” – Article 23 Universal Declaration of Human Rights

    Scarf Dinners

    Scarf Monday Night Dinners form part of our 10-week hospitality training and mentoring programs. We also hold occasional pop-up dinners and special events, which provide employment and networking opportunities for Scarf trainees.

    We borrow restaurants from generous, like-minded people who allow us to use their venues outside their normal trading hours.

    We offer a two-course set menu for $35 per person, which is cooked by professional chefs. We provide a high quality dining experience to our customers, which our trainees and mentors are proud to be part of. Dining at Scarf is a unique experience. As a Scarf customer, you’re integral to our model of training – you are the catalyst for the trainee to practice their skills and increase their confidence. We invite you to give feedback when you’ve finished your meal, which allows the trainee to get instant feedback and helps them to set their own goals throughout the program.

    Get Involved

    If you’d like to get involved with Scarf, the first thing you should do is come for dinner! See us in action and decide if our community is one that you’d like to be part of. Remember, as a customer you play a very important role in the training process – you’re the catalyst for the Scarf trainees to practice their newly learned skills and increase their confidence. You’ll find details on booking in to dinner on the ‘Dinners’ page.

    We rely on many wonderful people who volunteer their time and skills in order to make our programs work. We also have a number of existing sponsorships and partnerships which are key to keeping our social enterprise alive! We are always looking for great new opportunities in this area, so if you have an idea you want to discuss, please drop us a line!

    If you have any general enquiries about Scarf, or if you have skills in the area of graphic design, photography, video-making, writing, knitting, embroidery, or anything of that sort, please get in touch with Hannah – hannah@scarfcommunity.org. Also, if you work with young people who are facing barriers to employment, or if you are a young person who is keen to work in hospitality but you’re having trouble finding training or work opportunities, then please email Hannah. You can also sign up to our referrals database in the ‘Training’ section to ensure you receive information about recruitment for future Scarf programs.

    Hospitality folk! If you’re interested in volunteering as a mentor in our programs, or if you think you’d like to lend us your restaurant, please email Liz – liz@scarfcommunity.org. Alternatively, if you’d like to chat about partnership and sponsorship opportunities, or if you have any marketing or media enquiries, Liz is very keen to talk to you! She’s open to all ideas and would love to hear from anyone who might be interested in forming a partnership, co-creating new opportunities or generally helping us build the good work Scarf does. Finally, if you’re a uni student or recent graduate of marketing, communications or business and are interested in an internship, give Liz a shout to see what opportunities might exist.

    Photo: Winter Scarf group

    People

    Meet some Scarf participants!

    Nyaguich – 2012 Winter Scarf trainee

    What did you like about Scarf?Nyaguich - photo

    I like Scarf because I learn more about different things.

    What did you learn during the program?

    I learn to serve the customers, coffee making and wine training.

    Did you feel ready to get a job after you completed the program?

    Yes I feel ready to get a job because I gained more confidence and I enjoyed my time at Scarf.

    What would you say to a friend who was considering doing some training at Scarf?

    I would say to friend if you really want to get more experience go to Scarf Community.

     

    Mark – 2012 Winter Scarf mentor

    Mark  - Winter Scarf 2012 mentorWhere do you work?

    Cumulus Inc. I started there two and a half years ago as a waiter, now I’m also one of the wine buyers.

    What do you think the trainees get out of the program?

    I think the trainees in the program come out a lot richer for the experience gained from Scarf and have a much stronger leg to push off from to leap into the world of hospitality. Nothing is hidden from them and they are shown that it is hard work but the rewards are grand.

    What’s the best thing about being a mentor at Scarf?

    In the last couple of weeks when the trainees take things into their own hands and work hard, fast and still have a laugh. And the heartfelt thanks you get from them at the end of it all… you see it in their eyes.

    Would you recommend being a mentor to other hospitality professionals?

    Yes. We all started out from stage one and worked to where we are now and it is a great feeling to help young people come out of their shell and show their personality. Going through what seems easy to me, and taking the time and patience to teach some one who does not have those skills is richly rewarding.

     

    Team Scarf

    Robyn Gould - Restaurant Manager

    Robyn caught the hospitality bug many years ago, while working her way through university.  Eventually the passion for hospitality overtook academia, and she opened her own place – Café Nova on Brunswick St.  After years of weddings, parties, nightclubs and bars (not all necessarily her own) she returned to university to pursue a growing interest in social justice.  Joining the team in February 2013, Scarf provides the ideal way to combine these two passions. As Restaurant Manager, Robyn seeks to maximise the learning experiences of the trainees, while ensuring the diners enjoy their Scarf experience.

    Christos Vafeas – Volunteer Lead Mentor

    Christos has been a hospitality professional for over 40 years, so it’s fair to say he seriously knows his stuff. Along with various partners, he has owned and operated many iconic Melbourne venues, from the St Kilda Pier Kiosk to The Botanical Hotel. Eight years ago Christos decided that he wanted to pass on his knowledge to the new generation of hospitality workers, so he became a certified trainer. We first met Christos when he mentored during the 2013 Spring Scarf season, where he made hospitality seem like a piece of cake and inspired the trainees to really sink their teeth in! As the season was drawing to a close, Christos decided that he wasn’t quite ready to part ways with Scarf (lucky us!) and so in early 2014, he became Scarf’s ‘Lead Mentor’. In this volunteer role, Christos is involved in various training sessions, including delivering the Responsible Service of Alcohol course to the Scarf trainees. During the Scarf Dinners, Christos brings his wealth of experience (and a modicum of charm) to oversee the trainees and mentors and ensure that service runs smoothly.

    Hannah Colman - General Manager

    Hannah is a Swinburne Multimedia (Media Studies) graduate, freelance writer and lover of Worlds. She has been working in restaurants for over ten years because she loves food and enjoys the social side of hospitality. After bits and pieces of volunteering (including editing *bespoken, a community newspaper dedicated to providing a voice to marginalised members of the community), Hannah co-founded Scarf with Jess Moran in 2010. Hannah looked after Scarf’s marketing and communications for three years, and in August 2013 became Scarf’s general manager. As well as ensuring the trainees get the most out of the program, Hannah is interested in fostering the Scarf community – volunteers, dinner guests, host restaurants, sponsors, knitters and the like. She also spends a bit of time gently reminding people that Scarf is not an acronym! In our case, it’s just a warm, comforting show of support and an expression of culture.

    Liz Grady – Partnerships and Communications Manager

    Liz is a passionate communicator, has a genuine love of people and gets little-kid-excited about delicious food and the chance to make a positive difference in the lives of others. All this makes her a pretty great fit for the role of Scarf’s Partnerships & Communications Manager, which she began in January 2014. Whilst lecturing at RMIT University in 2012, Liz began volunteering for Scarf, coordinating crafts projects and communications collateral. She then jetted to New York, and spent most of 2013 looking after the Sales & Marketing of a luxury inn and farm-to-table restaurant. Whilst Liz has always loved the food scene and been intrigued by the hospitality industry, her career has centred around marketing for the adventure travel industry and has seen her live or travel across all seven continents! All that travel led her to base herself back in Melbourne and she will proudly argue that Melbourne’s food scene is one of the most exciting in the world. She reckons it can comfortably hold its own against Paris, New York or any of the other global food hubs, and she’d know! Liz is focussed on strengthening people’s awareness of Scarf and finding new ways to grow its wonderful work.

    Kate Gayfer – Volunteer Bookings Manager

    Kate has a passion for food and all things creative, which could be attributed to her visual merchandising background. She currently manages her own business (event management, contract marketing work and promotions) and is also a master cupcake creator, specialising in mini-cupcakes of all flavours and designs. Kate is the volunteer marketing, events and fundraising manager of Kadasig Aid & Development, a non-profit organisation working to assist in the improvement of life for children and families in the Philippines. Last but definitely not least, she is also a mum to a very energetic four year old. If you look up the word organised in the dictionary, don’t be surprised to see Kate’s face! Kate has been a volunteer at Scarf for the past two years, and currently manages the Scarf Dinner bookings and gift certificate sales. She also constantly feeds us delicious, tiny cupcakes, which we don’t mind one bit.

     

    Supporters

    Scarf exists with support from many people, organisations and businesses. Our supporters include:

    red + white and Mezzaine Wine Distribution     Di Bella Coffee Roasting Warehouse

    Daylesford and Hepburn Mineral Springs Co     Larsen & Thompson Tea

    Little Creatures Brewing     Calendar Cheese Company

    Mount Zero Olives     The West Winds Gin

    Ladro restaurant     SILK_polaroid

         Kelvin Bar

    Erinna Imagery     Sofitel

    The RE Ross Trust     Accor Foundation

    Scarf’s Board of Directors

    Noel Batrouney

    Noel was appointed a director of Scarf in April 2011. Noel holds degrees in law and economics and is a member of CPA Australia. He is a partner with Hall & Wilcox lawyers, and practises mainly in commercial dispute resolution.

    Noel is a volunteer tutor with AMES and is interested in assisting refugees to fully engage in the community.

    Jana Favero

    Jana is the Communications Manager and the Community Team Leader at the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC).  In these roles, Jana is responsible for social marketing, communication and advocacy activities as well as overseeing the delivery of the eight community engagement programs.

    Jana has extensive experience working in the private and not-for-profit sector in leadership and marketing roles in Melbourne and London. Jana transitioned from the private to the not-for-profit sector by undertaking a management role in Mongolia on an income generation project for three years.  Jana has also worked in India developing social marketing strategies for increasing the effectiveness and acceptance of women as political leaders.

    Jana also has a keen interest in the development of future leaders and works as a tutor and mentor to students at The School for Social Entrepreneurs.

    Sheelagh Purdon

    Sheelagh brings to the Scarf board extensive experience in assisting disadvantaged job seekers to enter the workforce. In particular she has worked with asylum seekers, refugees and people with disabilities. She has also worked with employers to understand their needs and develop approaches to equip them to recruit and successfully employ disadvantaged people.

    Sheelagh has substantial experience in management development and work place change and has assisted many organisations to focus and fine-tune their operations to meet changing environments.

    Recently, Sheelagh moved from her role working in Employment at the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (which she held for five years) to begin her current role as the Community Speaker Coordinator at the ASRC.

    Kellie Watson

    Appointed as a Scarf director in May 2011, Kellie is currently employed as Production Manager at FareShare. She has broad experience within the hospitality industry in both hands-on and management roles, including the chef manager at Libby Reid Catering.

    Kellie strongly believes in the ability of grassroots organisations to positively change equity and access to employment. Kellie can be called upon to man the Scarf “back of house” in emergencies.

    News

    July 5, 2014

    Nesting time for Scarf

    Exciting times here at Scarf! We’re about to turn four (yes… 4 whole years old!) and we’ve just received a pretty incredible birthday present! Scarf now holds a membership at Nest in Thornbury, a newly founded coworking community shared by talented people from diverse disciplines like web design, strategic facilitation, copywriting and graphic design. Nest was founded by a fellow named Jay Chubb, whose working life has seen him managing NGO’s, community sector development and tech startups. He was even a chef at one point! A huge believer in the impact of social enterprise, Jay has very generously started up a program called ‘Boost’, a new accelerator program designed to provide capacity building to social enterprises. As the inaugural participant in ‘Boost’, Scarf now has access to sponsored membership and pro bono services from over 14 consultants based at Nest (valued at roughly $45,000)! See, we weren’t joking when we said it was a pretty sweet birthday present!


    Nest coworking in Thornbury – it’s rare to see it not full of busy members! 

    Scarf’s Hannah and Liz have been working from Nest for the past month, accessing mentoring from Jay himself as well as the amazing opportunity to connect with many Nest members who are keenly sharing their mad skills with us while we enter an intensive planning phase. Over the next couple of months, we’ll be revitalising our program structure, governance and stakeholder relationships, taking a close look at (and making a few tweaks to) our brand and communications strategy and making new industry connections. There’s a lot of work to be done and we’re super excited about what we can achieve in this time.

    (This news article was first published in our Winter newsletter. Read the whole thing here.)

    July 5, 2014

    Autumn Scarf Wrap Up

    Autumn Scarf wrapped up at the end of May and saw us running dinners out of the gorgeous Top Paddock in Richmond and Mesa Verde in the CBD (marking our first time as city-slickers!) The creative and skilled crew from Kerala cooked, with their modern South Indian menu very enthusiastically received by our punters. Apparently people are still talking about the entree of pumpkin bonda with chilli jam – it certainly had a kick to it! This program offered trainee positions to seven young people who were facing barriers to fair training and employment opportunities, and training took place at some of our favourite spots around Melbourne.

    We had bar and cocktail training at Kelvin Bar, beer and cider training at Little Creatures, coffee training at Di Bella Coffee Roasting Warehouse, resume drop-off and interview practice at Ladro (with managers from Union Dining, Casa Ciuccio, Pei Modern, Easy Tiger and Mr Wow’s Emporium), a hotel tour at Sofitel on Collins and wine training with Jenny “The Wine Whitch” Polack. Supporting and guiding our trainees through the program were a fantastic bunch of volunteer mentors from venues such as Cumulus Inc, Moon Under Water, Code Black and The Last Jar. Phew!

    Scarf Dinner - Mesa Verde

    The Autumn Scarf crew – 2014. Photograph taken by Lisa O’Brien at Mesa Verde

    (This news article was first published in our Winter newsletter. Read the whole thing here.)

    April 21, 2014

    Give mum a sweet gift this Mother’s Day!

    MothersDay2014-giftcert

    Here at Scarf, we think mums are the best. And whilst we try not to get too caught up in Hallmark style celebrations, we do reckon it’s nice to show mum that you love her every now and again. Mother’s Day is a pretty good time to do that, so we just want to help you out, you know? Unfortunately the online shop in which we were recently selling our gift certificates no longer exists, but the good news is it’s still really simple to purchase a Scarf Dinners gift certificate from us. Just email Kate – bookings@scarfcommunity.org – and she’ll give you all the details. Our gift certificates can be valued at $50 (good for one person to enjoy our set menu plus a drink and dessert) or $100 (great for two people to go all out!) and are individually numbered and signed. They’re also valid for 12 months, so mum can use her gift certificate at any Scarf Dinner between now and April 2015. A tiny bird told us that Mother’s Day falls on Sunday 11th May, so be sure to order your gift certificate before Wednesday 7th May so that we can post it to you in time! Hopefully we’ll see you (and your mum) for dinner soon!

    Training

    Scarf is now recruiting young people to take part in our Spring Scarf program as front-of-house trainees, starting Monday October 6th. For current recruitment information, click here

    If you would like to receive information about trainee recruitment for future Scarf programs, sign up here.

     ~

    Scarf was started by a group of young hospitality professionals. Most of our skills were learned on the job.

    In the hospitality industry, learning on the job is an integral part of the training process, which is why our programs have such a strong hands-on focus.

    We believe that the most effective learning takes place in the middle of a busy service – when you’re about to take a customer’s order, the phone is ringing, there are coffees that need to be made, and there is a bell ringing in the kitchen, meaning that hungry customers are waiting for their food! So, what do you do first?! At Scarf we help our trainees figure it out!

    For more information on what Scarf offers, check out our “Meet a program” profile on the Victorian Youth Mentoring Alliance website.

    Photo: Mentoring at Scarf

    Our unique program provides a safe space for our trainees to learn and practice their skills – with a mentor always close at hand to guide them and answer any questions. Our Monday Night Dinner customers are a very important part of the training process, and we strive to provide a quality dining experience for them. Without customers, Scarf trainees wouldn’t get the chance to practise their newly learned skills in a fast-paced environment that replicates the industry.

    All our trainees are individuals with different skill levels and different needs. We realise that not all of our trainees will want to work in a formal service environment once they have completed a Scarf program. Our aim is to provide a safe learning space and a positive workplace environment. We aim to foster relationships between trainees and mentors, so that our trainees have the opportunities and connections to get the job they want, in the area of hospitality which is right for them.

    Once the Scarf trainees figure out which area of hospitality is most relevant to their personality and skill level, we assist them in finding the right job for them.

    The Scarf hospitality training program includes trainee positions for:

    Front of House (wait staff)

    -       introduction to formal service with Dave Hynes (Longrain) and Zoe Ladyman (Libertine)

    -       bar basics at Kelvin Bar

    -       wine training (4 week wine course with Jenny Polack)

    -       coffee training (at the Di Bella Roasting Warehouse)

    -       resume writing/distributing resume tips and interview practice at Ladro, led by Kim Cash (Vue de Monde). Interviewers include Adam Cash (Union Dining), John Farha (Moor’s Head), Simon Hall (Easy Tiger) & Sean Kierce (Ladro)

    -       beer and cider training at Little Creatures Dining Hall

    -       cocktail training at Kelvin Bar

    -       High Tea training at Sofitel on Collins

    -       actual hands-on experience (serving customers during Monday Night Dinners)

    Scarf front-of-house trainees gain skills and connections to assist them in finding meaningful employment in the hospitality industry.

    Photo: Beer Training at Little Creatures Dining Hall

    Beer Training at Little Creatures Dining Hall

    Photo: Wine training

    Wine training with Jenny ‘The Wine Whitch’ Polack

    Who

    July 5th, 2014 by

    Nesting time for Scarf

    Exciting times here at Scarf! We’re about to turn four (yes… 4 whole years old!) and we’ve just received a pretty incredible birthday present! Scarf now holds a membership at Nest in Thornbury, a newly founded coworking community shared by talented people from diverse disciplines like web design, strategic facilitation, copywriting and graphic design. Nest was founded by a fellow named Jay Chubb, whose working life has seen him managing NGO’s, community sector development and tech startups. He was even a
    Read more...

    July 5th, 2014 by

    Autumn Scarf Wrap Up

    Autumn Scarf wrapped up at the end of May and saw us running dinners out of the gorgeous Top Paddock in Richmond and Mesa Verde in the CBD (marking our first time as city-slickers!) The creative and skilled crew from Kerala cooked, with their modern South Indian menu very enthusiastically received by our punters. Apparently people are still talking about the entree of pumpkin bonda with chilli jam – it certainly had a kick to it! This program offered trainee positions to seven young people who
    Read more...

    April 21st, 2014 by

    Give mum a sweet gift this Mother’s Day!

    MothersDay2014-giftcert

    Here at Scarf, we think mums are the best. And whilst we try not to get too caught up in Hallmark style celebrations, we do reckon it’s nice to show mum that you love her every now and again. Mother’s Day is a pretty good time to do that, so we just want to help you out, you know? Unfortunately the online shop in which we were recently selling our gift certificates
    Read more...

    April 9th, 2014 by

    Trainee Tales! Q & A with Autumn Scarf trainee Rosa

    We often get feedback from our Monday Night Dinner customers that they would like to get to know the Scarf trainees a little better. That’s usually not possible during the busy dinner service, so we thought we’d take some time to chat to one of our current Autumn Scarf trainees, Rosa, and see what Scarf is like from a trainees’ perspective.

    Rosa and Lisa

    Rosa and one of our lovely volunteer mentors Lisa at
    Read more...

    April 8th, 2014 by

    Scarf heads to the top with Mesa Verde

    Autumn-Scarf-Dinners-Mesa-Verde-poster

    After an almost completely booked out beginning to our Autumn Scarf season at the lovely Top Paddock in Richmond, Scarf is heading to the big smoke! Mesa Verde, in Curtin House (Level 6, 252 Swanston St, Melbourne) will be our host venue for the second half of the Autumn Scarf season. We will be running Scarf Dinners at Mesa Verde every Monday night from 28th April until 26th May. As usual, we are
    Read more...

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