Hannah Colman
Co-founder and General Manager

HannahHannah 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.

Hannah works Monday – Friday. Email: hannah@scarfcommunity.org.

Liz Grady
Partnerships and Communications Manager

LizLiz 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!

Liz works Monday – Wednesday. Email: liz@scarfcommunity.org.

Jonny Ainscough
Restaurant Manager

JonnyJonny’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!

Jonny works Mondays and Tuesdays. Email: restaurant@scarfcommunity.org.

Ruth Langley
Training Manager

RuthRuth’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!

Ruth works casually throughout the week, predominantly on Tuesdays. Email: training@scarfcommunity.org.

Mae Vincent
Wellbeing Manager

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.

Mae works casually throughout the week, predominantly on Tuesday nights and Fridays. Email: mae@scarfcommunity.org.

 

 

Jen Conroy Smith
Project Support

Jen is an organiser, a do-er, and usually has lots of projects on the go at once. She comes from the UK, and despite being here for four years, she still struggles with our hot Melbourne summers! She holds a Degree and Masters in Arts, and became interested in Community Development whilst doing a teaching degree. Working with charities and not for profits, Jen fell in love with community development and being a small part in helping people develop, and take stepping stones to change their lives.

Jen joined the Scarf team in October 2018 in a new Project Support role; you’ll find her making never ending ‘to do’ lists to keep our fundraising activities, campaigns and Scarf Dinners organised! Jen brings a huge smile and a bunch of handy skills and experience (like running community engagement programs, managing events, coordinating volunteers and database management) and will be helping the team keep lots of balls in the air.

Jen loves music (of course she does, she’s from Manchester!) and spends her spare time going to see bands. Passionate about other cultures, she’s been lucky enough to travel to lots of different countries, her favourites have been Cambodia, India and Peru (so far!)

Jen works at Scarf two and a half days across the week. Email: projects@scarfcommunity.org.

 

Neil Baxendale
Job Readiness Mentor

Neil’s first job was in a family owned hotel in a seaside town in the North of England, and since then he’s worked in cafes, breweries and plenty of pubs (including supervising an East London pub during the 2012 Olympics, which he reckons was equal parts exhilarating and exhausting).

Not content to just play the hospo game, Neil has also facilitated programs which helped young people in prison change their behaviours and lead more positive lives. After gaining a Diploma in Criminal Justice Studies, Neil worked as a Probation Officer in the UK, and then in Australia as a support worker for an outreach program, enabling adults to reintegrate into society after leaving prison.

Neil was a volunteer restaurant mentor during Scarf seasons in 2014 and 2016 (and a keen diner during other seasons) and in August 2018 we were thrilled to welcome Neil to the team in the role of Job Readiness Mentor. This sees him running group workshops and one-on-one sessions with Scarf graduates as they transition from the program to ongoing employment. Neil’s main focus is on fostering the trainees’ strengths, building their confidence and providing really practical support with resumes, job hunting and job applications, interview skills and the like.

Neil works at Scarf on Fridays and some Tuesday nights. Email: jobready@scarfcommunity.org.  

 

Jess Colgan
Finance Manager

Working with social enterprise and their founders is what Jess loves best. So together with her passion for and experience in hospitality, this makes Scarf her perfect match. We were excited welcome Jess to the team as our Finance Manager in August 2018.

As a chartered accountant, Jess has enjoyed immense opportunity to partner with organisational leaders, creating effective solutions to critical business needs. For 7 years, Jess was Head of Finance at food&desire, a leading hospitality and events business in Melbourne. Her ability to analyse results, build solid relationships and strengthen culture have been the foundations of her success.

In 2018, Jess co-founded social impact consultancy Y, collaborating with business to increase their positive social and environmental impact, and with social enterprise to create financially sustainable business models to thrive.  

Jess works at Scarf on Tuesday mornings. Email: accounts@scarfcommunity.org.

 

Mel Ross
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!

Mel volunteers at Scarf throughout the week. Email: bookings@scarfcommunity.org.

 

Gabriel De Melo Freire
Volunteer Mentor & Trainer

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.

 

Christos Vafeas

Volunteer Mentor & Trainer

ChristosChristos 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.

 

Scarf’s Board of Directors

Sara Webb

Sara is a program evaluator, facilitator, designer, and supporter of community development who works in Australia and internationally. She has been operating her consultancy business, Duniya Pty Ltd, since 2005, and has worked all over the world, living in India, Timor-Leste and the Pacific along the way. Since moving to Melbourne and discovering Scarf, Sara’s been a big fan who avidly attends Scarf Dinners. Joining the Scarf board in 2017, Sara brings her experience in organisational governance and community development to support its work. If she had to chose a favourite cuisine, she’d go with Mexican (but, she stresses, “real Mexican, in Mexico!”)

Sara Webb is the current Chair of the Scarf board. 

 

Lisa Jones

Lisa spent 15 years working overseas with international aid organisations, mostly in countries in conflict and post-conflict, assisting people forced to flee their homes. She now leads change to create a move diverse and inclusive emergency management sector. With degrees in arts and law, Lisa has brought her advocacy and governance skills to the Scarf board since early 2018, along with a drive for social justice. Always an enthusiastic restaurant goer, Lisa is delighted to have found Scarf and to help create opportunities for young people seeking protection and those from refugee and migrant backgrounds – amazing people who have endured the worst and continue to show extraordinary determination in the face of ongoing barriers.

 

Matthew Teran

Matthew has worked in the social and community sectors for close to a decade and is a longtime supporter of Scarf’s work, initially as a practitioner working with people seeking protection and those from refugee backgrounds. More recently, after moving into strategy and business development roles, he has become a very loyal Scarf diner. Matthew has led innovation and service growth projects at community health organisation cohealth since 2017. With degrees in social work and public policy, Matthew joined the Scarf board in 2017, where his knowledge of the trends shaping not-for-profits will be of great value.

 

Noel Batrouney

Noel is a lawyer having been a partner at Hall & Wilcox until September 2017, practising mainly in commercial disputes and regulatory issues. He now consults to Hall & Wilcox from time to time. Noel is a former volunteer tutor at AMES and is interested in assisting people from a refugee background to fully engage in the community. Noel holds degrees in law and economics and became a Scarf board member in 2010. Noel is a keen Scarf diner who loves to bring family and friends along to a dinner every season to support new trainees. He enjoys Lebanese food and trying the numerous Lebanese restaurants around Melbourne, his favourite being Abla’s in Carlton. Noel is currently studying for a Diploma of Languages in French at RMIT.

Noel Batrouney is the current Secretary of the Scarf board. 

 

Hannah Colman

HannahHannah is Scarf’s Co-founder and General Manager and has sat on Scarf’s board of directors since 2010. After working in hospitality for over ten years and volunteering with Fitzroy’s refugee community via The Social Studio, Hannah co-founded Scarf with Jess Moran in 2010. Hannah holds a Bachelor of Multimedia (Media Studies) from Swinburne University of Technology and dabbles in freelance writing. She firmly believes in the power of social enterprise to allow marginalised young people to gain the skills, confidence and connections needed to break into employment.