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 May 2019

8 years and 26 programs  //  215 graduate trainees  //  7,260 hours of paid work experience
92% program retention  //  200+ volunteer mentors and trainers
14,790 hours of industry training  //  100+ hospitality venue partners  //  15,200 diners served
70% graduates in employment within six months


Watch Scarf on video

Our mission, values & FAQ

Book a Scarf Dinner and do more than dine.

Winter Scarf Dinners at Uncle

Winter Scarf Dinners will run from every Tuesday from 9 July – 27 August at Uncle, 1/15 Collins St, Melbourne. A two-course set menu of modern Vietnamese food will be served for $45 per head. Scarf trainees and mentors will look after the front of house and the Uncle chefs will do the cooking. There are vegetarian options available in each course, and specific dietary requirements can be catered for – simply note these when you make your booking.

Eight new Scarf trainees will engage in weekly training sessions throughout the 10-week Winter Scarf program, spanning formal service, wine, cocktails, beer, coffee, resume-writing and more. Then, during Tuesday night Scarf Dinners, the trainees will gain paid work experience as they learn the ins and outs of front of house service whilst supported by mentors (hospitality professionals). Scarf programs allow trainees to build their knowledge, skills, confidence and networks, whilst training and working in some of Melbourne’s best venues.

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 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

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

Please email bookings@scarfcommunity.org if you:

– would like to book for 7 or more people
– have a Scarf Dinners gift certificate to redeem
(please specify your preferred date, time, number of guests and gift certificate number)
– have any issues using the bookings calendar
– have any other enquiries about Scarf Dinners!

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





Winter Scarf ’12

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 ’14

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 ’12

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 ’14

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.”

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 & Job Readiness Manager

Jen Conroy Smith

Project Support & Training Supervisor

Tigist - website

Tigist Kebede

Wellbeing & Job Readiness Worker

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


Board of Directors

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 are currently recruiting restaurant mentors for Winter Scarf ’19. 

Read the Winter Scarf ’19 Volunteer Mentor Position Description.

Apply to be a volunteer restaurant mentor in 2019.

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

Real knowledge. Real experience.
Real jobs.

Upcoming Opportunities

Tasting Plate ’19

We’re currently accepting trainee referrals for Tasting Plate ’19, running in September with support from the Inner North Community Foundation.

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

Apply for Tasting Plate ’19


Spring Scarf ’19

The details for our 10-week Spring Scarf ’19 program will be released in September. To get an understanding of program structure, you can look at the trainee recruitment information for Winter Scarf ’19 here. If you’d like to refer yourself or someone else for Spring Scarf ’19, please use this form.

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?

Scarf ‘Tasting Plate’ with Inner North Community Foundation

July 22nd, 2019|

Scarf is now recruiting front-of-house trainees for a free, 3 day 'Tasting Plate' hospitality short course, running in partnership with Inner North Community Foundation. This is a great opportunity for young people from refugee/migrant backgrounds and young people seeking [...]

Ngot would like to share some good news…

June 20th, 2019|

Today is World Refugee Day, and we're taking the opportunity to celebrate the immense courage, resilience and valuable contributions made by refugees to Australian society. If you came along to a recent Autumn Scarf Dinner, [...]

Winter Scarf Dinners head to Vietnam… via Collins St!

June 19th, 2019|

We’re chuffed to announce that Winter Scarf Dinners will run at Uncle, 1/15 Collins St, Melbourne. The season will run on Tuesdays from 9 July – 27 August and a two-course set menu is $45 per head, with Scarf trainees [...]

More news