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.


Book a Scarf Dinner


Our mission, values & FAQ

Book a Scarf Dinner and do more than dine.

Autumn Scarf Dinners at The Lincoln

Winter Scarf Dinners will be announced soon! Sign up here to get all the details on future Scarf Dinners and special events.


Autumn Scarf Dinners will run on Tuesday nights at The Lincoln, 91 Cardigan St, Carlton, from 21 March – 16 May. The Lincoln’s head chef, Howard Stamp, has created a delightful two course set menu (entree + main with choice, $40 per person). The Lincoln kitchen works closely with small regional suppliers and is focused on using the highest quality sustainable and seasonal produce, with as much as possible made in-house.

Scarf has recruited a new group of front of house trainees who are keen to bust into hospitality jobs. Scarf trainees are young people seeking protection, and young people from refugee and migrant communities who face barriers to work. During the Autumn Scarf season, they will engage in a bunch of training sessions which span formal service, wine, cocktails, beer, coffee and more. Then, during Tuesday night Scarf Dinners, the trainees will learn the ins and outs of front of house service, whilst being supported by their mentors, who came from fantastic venues like Gerald’s Bar, Garden State Hotel 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’ll offer a fabulous drinks list thanks to generous support from red + white and Mezzanine Wine, 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.

Recent Scarf seasons have been held at The Robert Burns HotelHigher Ground MelbourneRupert on RupertThe Empress Hotel, The LincolnGreen ParkMesa Verde, Top Paddock and Markov.

Sign up here to get all the details on future Scarf Dinners and special events.

If you have a Scarf Dinners Gift Certificate and would like to book an Autumn 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 using the Dimmi calendar below, or via Scarf’s page on the Dimmi website. If you have any difficulty making a booking, please call 0488 772 911.

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

Rieko Indra

Volunteer Lead Mentor

Christos, Scarf community mentor

Christos Vafeas

Volunteer Lead Mentor

Leigh Oliver

Volunteer Lead Mentor

Mel Ross

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 18 restaurants like Union DiningEasy Tiger, Jorg, Epocha, Mesa Verde, Markov 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, 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 sponsor-mezzanine   sponsor-redwhite  sponsor-westwind     Vertue coffee    sponsor-littlecreaturessponsor-daylesfordspring
sponsor-mountzeroolivesLarsen and Thompson Teasponsor-calendarcheesecie sponsor-KelvinLogo  RVB de base ladro restaurant melbournevermut Melbourne   Kitty Somerset Melbourne
tuft   LoaferBread   nest-coworking-logo    Starward 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

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.

Winter Scarf ’17 trainee referrals are now open. 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, 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 full of 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.

Gift Certificates

Give someone you love the gift of a Scarf Dinner!
Scarf Dinners Gift Certificates are available for purchase from Good Spender.

Gift Certificates can be used at any Scarf Dinner and are valid for 12 months.


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

Donations are used for training costs and trainee wages.

Click here to donate.

Have You Heard the News?

Matt Preston invites Melbourne to Do More Than Dine

April 6th, 2017|

Scarf Ambassador, Masterchef judge and food journalist, Matt Preston, will again host our annual fundraising dinner Do More Than Dine on Wednesday 17 May at ARC ONE Gallery with food by Andrew McConnell and his team at [...]

Autumn Scarf Dinners at The Lincoln

March 6th, 2017|

Autumn Scarf Dinners will run on Tuesday nights at The Lincoln in Carlton, from 21 March – 16 May. The Lincoln head chef, Howard Stamp, has created a delightful two course set menu (entree + main with choice) for $40 per [...]

Do More Than Drink in 2016 to raise awareness and funds for Scarf!

November 7th, 2016|

Soon, we're launching our Do More Than Drink campaign for the second year running, this time, with the support of more than 30 of Melbourne’s best bars. Designed to raise both funds and awareness, the campaign [...]

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