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.


Scarf Stats as at September 2019

9 years and 29 programs  //  235 graduate trainees  //  7,970 hours of paid work experience
93% program retention  //  250+ volunteer mentors and trainers
15,715 hours of industry training  //  100+ hospitality venue partners  //  16,050 diners served
70% graduates in employment within six months


Watch Scarf on video

Our mission, values & FAQ

Read Scarf’s 2019-2022 Strategic Plan

Book a Scarf Dinner and do more than dine.

Spring Scarf Dinners at Garden State Hotel

Spring Scarf Dinners will run at Garden State Hotel, 101 Flinders Lane, Melbourne on Tuesday nights from 1 October – 26 November. 

Get lots more information about the season here.

The Garden State chefs will be doing the cooking and they’ve designed a beautiful two course set menu ($45 per person). Entrees include ‘Mount Zero lentil salad with smoked salmon, goats curd and beetroot’, ‘Spiced cauliflower fritters with lemon & parsley aioli’ and ‘Beef bresaola carpaccio with horseradish & sweet rocket’. Mains include ‘Grilled sirloin with parmesan mash, spinach & confit cherry tomatoes’, ‘Mushroom linguine with truffle pecorino and chilli’ and ‘Tasmanian salmon with wombok slaw, bok choy & shiso dressing’.

The front of house will be looked after by Scarf’s newest group of front of house trainees – the Spring Scarf ’19 team. Trainees will be supported in the front of house by Scarf mentors – hospitality professionals who volunteer their time. Scarf trainees are paid the Restaurant Industry Award wage for their work at Scarf Dinners.

As always, we’ll offer a fabulous drinks list thanks to generous support from Punt Road Wines, Stomping Ground Brewing Co, STARWARD Whisky, Four Pillars Gin, Casa Mariol Vermut Negre, Daylesford & Hepburn Mineral Springs Co, Campari Australia, Napoleone, Five Senses Coffee and Larsen & Thompson tea. Please note Scarf Dinners are not BYO.

Previous Scarf seasons have been held at Uncle, Higher Ground Melbourne, Bhang, Stomping Ground Beer Hall, Auction Rooms, The Grace Darling, The Lincoln, The Robert Burns Hotel, Rupert on Rupert, Mesa Verde and Top Paddock.

If you have a Scarf Dinners Gift Certificate and would like to book a Scarf Dinner, or if you have any queries about the season, please email bookings@scarfcommunity.org.

If you’d like to receive Scarf news every month or so, sign up to our newsletter here.

Dine with us


To book a Spring Scarf Dinner, please email bookings@scarfcommunity.org and specify the following:

– Preferred date
– Preferred time (6.00, 6.30, 7.00, 7.30 or 8.00pm)
– Number of guests
– Dietary requirements
– Contact phone number and email address

Meet the team.

Scarf Staff

Hannah Colman, Scarf community cofounder and Manager

Hannah Colman

& General Manager

Liz, Scarf community

Liz Grady

Partnerships &
Communications Manager

Jen Conroy Smith

Program Manager

Missy Vee

Wellbeing & Job Readiness Manager

Sam Barnes

Restaurant Manager

Ruth Langley, Training Manager

Ruth Langley

Training Manager

Neil Baxendale

Wellbeing & Job Readiness Worker

Jess Colgan

Finance Manager


Scarf Volunteers

Mel Ross

Volunteer Bookings Manager

Gabs, lead mentor

Gabriel De Melo Freire

Volunteer Mentor & Trainer

Guy Alexander

Volunteer Mentor Training Lead


The Scarf Board

Sara Webb


Noel Batrouney


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

Hospitality mentoring

Scarf simply wouldn’t exist without our incredible volunteer mentors.

Hospitality professionals with big hearts take on this important role, to share their knowledge, skills and networks with Scarf trainees to help them increase their confidence and job-readiness. When you sign up to mentor for a 10-week Scarf season, you’ll spend about six hours per week mentoring during Scarf Dinners. We have eight trainees in each program, and the same amount of mentors. This one-to-one ratio allows trainees to learn practical skills from industry professionals in a supportive setting, whilst they gain valuable paid work experience during busy Scarf Dinners. Mentoring at Scarf is an empowering experience for all involved.

We will be interviewing potential mentors in February 2020. To get an idea of what we’ll be looking for, read the Spring Scarf ’19 Volunteer Mentor Position Description.

Apply to be a volunteer restaurant mentor. We’ll be in touch in the new year!

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.

General Volunteering

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 30 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.

      Screen Shot 2017-08-30 at 4.09.05 PM   Four Pillars - logo copy SML       DHMSCO_Logo_Web    stomping ground beer   Screen Shot 2018-02-21 at 11.43.13 AM  Campari Logo
sponsor-mountzeroolivesLoaferBread   vermut Melbourne   larsen and thompson logoStarward logo
Napoleone Cider       Stroh - logo    PosBoss     Five Senses - Logo - Blue - Primary


These amazing businesses also help Scarf to achieve our mission. Legends, all of them!


 the-fork-logo-png-6    typsy logo for website  sponsor-KelvinLogo  RVB de base ladro restaurant melbourne   Kitty Somerset Melbourne
tuft     worksmith_combo_black (4)   CHT logo  Square_Logotype_black (4)


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

Current and recent funders include:

Screen Shot 2017-08-30 at 4.49.01 PM   accor  Screen Shot 2019-02-14 at 9.08.04 AM       Screen Shot 2017-08-30 at 4.50.05 PM   mwf logo

Real knowledge. Real experience.
Real jobs.

Upcoming Opportunities


Spring Scarf ’19

Spring Scarf ’19 begins on Tuesday 24 September and we have eight new trainee positions available. The Spring Scarf program includes 10 weeks of training, predominantly on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and paid work experience every Tuesday night for 8 weeks at Scarf Dinners in our partner restaurant. The program also includes up to 6 months of post-program wellbeing and job readiness support from Scarf. Further program details and eligibility information is here.

Applications for Spring Scarf ’19 are now closed.

Applications for 2020 Scarf programs will open in January 2020. 


Tasting Plate ’19

Tasting Plate ’19 will run in September with support from the Inner North Community Foundation. There are 16 trainee positions available in this 3-day hospitality training program, which includes the opportunity to work at one or two ‘Pop Up’ Scarf Dinners.

Find out lots more detail here and read through the full program structure and eligibility guidelines here.

Applications for Tasting Plate ’19 are now closed. 


Who are the trainees at Scarf?

Read our FAQ to find out more.

What kinds of outcomes happen at Scarf?

Watch our evaluation videos to get a deeper understanding.


If you’d like to receive our newsletter which outlines Scarf training opportunities as they present themselves, please enter your email address below.

Training at Scarf

Scarf trainees are amazing, resilient young people who have faced 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 like Five Senses Coffee. 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. Scarf also runs super practical training sessions like hospitality resume-writing and interview practice with real hospitality managers.

After 10 weeks, Scarf trainees have gained heaps of confidence and seriously upped their knowledge, skills and networks. With individualised wellbeing and job-readiness support, we ensure our graduates have the best shot at getting a job as they transition from our program into the hospitality industry or elsewhere.

It’s a model we’re proud of.

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.

Scarf Dinners Gift Certificates

Yes! We sell Scarf Dinners gift certificates. If you’d like to purchase one, please email our Volunteer Bookings Coordinator Mel – bookings@scarfcommunity.org – and she’ll whip one up and pop it in the mail to you.


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.

Donate here.

ACNC Registered Charity Tick

Have You Heard the News?

Where Are They Now? Q + A with Scarf Graduate Emilio

November 3rd, 2019|

  Which Scarf program did you take part in? Winter Scarf ‘18 at Bhang.  Which country were you born in? Mexico. How did you hear about Scarf and why did you apply for the program? [...]

Spring Scarf Dinners at Garden State Hotel

September 17th, 2019|

  We're partnering with Garden State Hotel, 101 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, for Spring Scarf '19. Scarf Dinners will run on the following nights with Scarf trainees and mentors looking after the front of house and Garden State [...]

Scarf is popping up at Ladro for two nights only!

August 22nd, 2019|

We're thrilled to announce we're running two ‘Pop Up’ Scarf Dinners at renowned Italian restaurant Ladro in Fitzroy. The dates for these very special dinners are: - Monday 9 September - Monday 16 September Book Now [...]

More news