Co-founder and General Manager
Hannah is a hospitality professional, Swinburne Multimedia (Media Studies) graduate and occasional freelance writer with a soft spot for limericks. She’s worked in restaurants for over 10 years, and loves food (particularly Italian, Mexican and Thai) and the social side of hospitality. After volunteering with the refugee community in Fitzroy, including editing *bespoken, a newspaper providing a voice to marginalised members of the community, run by The Social Studio, Hannah co-founded Scarf with Jess Moran in 2010.
Hannah was a mentor in Scarf’s early programs, and looked after marketing and communications for three years, before becoming General Manager in 2013. She firmly believes in the power of social enterprise to allow young people to gain the skills, confidence and connections needed to break into employment. 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.
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 great fit for Scarf, where she strengthens people’s awareness of Scarf and finds new ways to grow its wonderful work.
Whilst lecturing at RMIT University in 2012, Liz began volunteering for Scarf, in crafts projects and communications. She spent most of 2013 doing marketing at a luxury inn and farm-to-table restaurant in New York before returning to Melbourne and into a paid role at Scarf in early 2014. Liz has always loved the food scene and hospitality industry around the world, and she sees Melbourne’s food scene as one of the most exciting in the world, up there with Paris, New York, and anywhere!
Jonny’s worked in wine bars, cafes, restaurants, pubs, cocktail bars and hotels for a grand total of twenty years! There’s no question he’s committed to the hospitality game. Jonny currently trains and develops supervisors and managers across The European Group‘s many venues, as well as managing traineeships within the group. The last five years have seen Jonny exploring the hospitality education sector, teaching VCE and VCAL students, or in his words, “educating the hospitality professionals of tomorrow, today”.
Jonny was a volunteer mentor in Scarf’s very first program in 2010, and back then his love for hospitality training was clear, as was his ease for working with people from diverse backgrounds. We welcomed Jonny to the Scarf management team in July 2016, inspired by his passion to make sure Scarf trainees could gain the confidence to really make a difference in both their personal and professional lives. Jonny’s role puts him firmly at the centre of Scarf Dinners, where he oversees the trainees and mentors, and ensures that our diners have a seriously great night out!
Ruth’s been in hospitality for fifteen years, and she’s not going anywhere in a hurry! Hailing from the UK, Ruth holds a degree in International Hospitality Management, a Cert IV in Training and Assessment, and has worked extensively in event catering and training. Ruth runs a hospitality training consultancy which uses inspiration and education to transform the hospitality industry.
Ruth became involved in Scarf in early 2015 as a volunteer employment mentor, supporting graduate trainees in the job. She’s also run numerous Scarf training sessions on resume-writing and interview skills. We were beyond excited when Ruth joined the team as Training Manager in July 2016, a role which sees her coordinating and supervising training sessions, and supporting the trainees’ learning. She believes that training and mentoring for young people is super important, because it builds skills as well as confidence, which is key to finding a job. In no particular order, Ruth is passionate about her work, life in general and donuts!
Mae doesn’t muck around. She has a Bachelor of Arts (Social Theory) and a Masters degree in Social Work. She has seven years experience working in a range of fields including young people and families, drug and alcohol, people seeking protection, culturally and linguistically diverse communities, international humanitarian work and community development project management. She’s been busy!
Mae’s also worked in hospitality for a decade across roles and venues. She loves the fact that food is universal and therefore something we all have in common! Mae’s role at Scarf, which began in 2014, sees her working closely with the amazing young people in our programs, to ensure they’re well supported during their time at Scarf.
Volunteer Bookings Manager
Mel is a food and wine lover who thrives on exploring Melbourne’s fantastic cafe and restaurant scene. Although she is a trained physiotherapist, she’d love to get into the events side of hospitality. She dreams of running her own cheese and wine bar, because cheese! And wine! Mel has two gorgeous young children, who keep her on her toes and take up most of her time outside of work. Mel has been supporting Scarf from the early days and loves having “date night” with her husband at Scarf Dinners. Mel joined the Scarf team in June 2015 to manage our bookings and support us with administration, and we literally don’t know what we’d do without her!
Gabriel De Melo Freire
Volunteer Lead Mentor
Gabriel has been working in hospitality for fifteen years, in three countries (Australia, Brazil and England). He’s managed a 350 seat cafe, waited tables in fine dining restaurants, worked in events and set up cafes for Code Black Coffee. He currently manages Gerald’s Bar in Carlton where he pours some seriously good Australian and international wines, while the chefs dish up seasonal, local produce (tying in with his passion for sustainability). And in our humble opinion, he makes the best Negroni in Melbourne.
Gabs has been mentoring and running training sessions at Scarf since early 2015. His commitment to social justice and human rights is put into practice through his volunteering with Scarf, and he believes that connecting young people with practical experience and pathways to employment is crucial to empowerment. Gabs enjoys sharing his knowledge of the hospitality industry and supporting the trainees as they learn and evolve throughout the program.
Volunteer Lead Mentor
Christos Vafeas has been in the hospitality business for over 40 years. He’s owned and operated many Melbourne venues, from St Kilda Pier to The Botanical Hotel. Ten years ago he became a hospitality trainer to pass on his knowledge to the next generation of hospitality young’uns.
After volunteering as a mentor during Spring Scarf 2013, Christos decided to stick around for the long haul. So we created the Volunteer Lead Mentor role, which Christos takes on every dew seasons. In this role, Christos bravely leads the mentors and trainees and ensures an unforgettable dining experience. He does it with a great sense of humour and more than a modicum of charm.
Volunteer Lead Mentor
Leigh has been working in hospitality for thirteen years, but who’s counting? After cutting his teeth at cocktail bar Polly, Leigh spent time in Edinburgh honing his hospitality skills. Back in Melbourne, he worked in a number of venues before opening Cure bar + eatery, which he ran for five years. He currently slings beers, cocktails, croquettes and everything in between at The Lincoln, Carlton.
Leigh has been a volunteer mentor at Scarf since early 2016. Leigh knows that the hospitality game is often about “who you know”, and firmly believes that providing training, mentoring and the opportunity to build confidence is super important for young people who face barriers to work. Leigh loves working in an industry where people come together to nourish themselves and he loves that Scarf supports people in the industry which he’s so passionate about.
Volunteer Lead Mentor
Rieko is currently undertaking a Bachelor of Hospitality and Tourism, whilst working at one of Melbourne’s best hotels, Pullman Melbourne on the Park. Rieko has been a Scarf mentor since 2014. When undertaking the Volunteer Lead Mentor role every few seasons, Rieko closely assists the Scarf Restaurant Manager, running pre-service briefing and matching trainees with mentors, greeting and seating customers and overseeing the smooth running of service. Rieko’s enthusiasm, professionalism and commitment are evident to all who work with him. Rieko believes that there is a great need for sharing knowledge, skills and networks with young people who are experiencing disadvantage. Having worked in the hospitality industry for seven years, he finds volunteering at Scarf to be challenging and rewarding in equal parts.