We believe hospitality can transform lives

The Scarf Story

At Scarf, we transform the lives of young people seeking protection, and those from refugee and migrant backgrounds, by getting them into work while adding flavour and heart to the Melbourne hospitality industry. Whilst volunteering with the refugee community in 2009 - 2010, Scarf co-founders Hannah Colman and Jess Moran observed firsthand how hard it can be for newly arrived young people to find jobs, despite having a great attitude and a willingness to take on anything!



The Difference We Make

Scarf has impacted over 300 young lives since we began running programs in 2010. Watch our videos to hear directly from graduates.



Our Vision, Mission and Values

Vision: A society which embraces diversity, celebrates connected communities, and has equitable employment opportunities for all. Mission: To create a nourishing, supportive and inclusive space for trainees to gain confidence, skills, knowledge and networks. To foster connections in the hospitality industry to create equitable employment opportunities.



Hands-On Hospitality Training


Author: Hannah Brennan

Trauma-Informed Approach


Author: Hannah Brennan

What's a Scarf Dinner?



Trainee & Graduate Wellbeing


Author: Hannah Brennan

Graduate Voice

Graduate Voice are essential to the Scarf Team and Board gaining a deeper understanding of the wants and needs of program participants. Find out more.


Author: Hannah Brennan

Boosting Job Readiness


Author: Hannah Brennan

Our Impact

The below statistics are current at 5 December 2023


total programs

3 x Skill Up with Scarf Programs

6 x Tasting Plate Programs
30 x 10-week Seasonal Programs


total graduates

27 x Skill Up with Scarf graduates

87 x Tasting Plate graduates
210 x 10-week Seasonal Program graduates


trainee retention rate

Of the 343 young people who have enrolled in Scarf programs since 2010, 324 have graduated.


Scarf Dinners & events 

This includes 277 Scarf Dinners and four Do More Than Dine fundraising events.



hours of hands-on industry training

- Approximately 17,050 directly facilitated by Scarf team, trainers and mentors 
- Approximately 4,150 facilitated by Scarf Partners including Five Senses and Complete Hospitality Training


hours of wellbeing and job readiness support

Through our trauma-informed framework, we provide individualised support to trainees and graduates with a focus on wellbeing and boosting job readiness.


hours of paid work experience

We pay Scarf trainees and graduates Restaurant Industry Award wages for their work with us, and provide professional references.*


graduates in employment

More than 7 out of 10 graduates from Scarf's 10-week Seasonal Programs are in jobs within 6 months of graduating. 


partner restaurants

We're so grateful to the Melbourne venues
 who've supported us by hosting Scarf Dinners - we literally couldn't do it without them!


mentors & trainers

Hospitality professionals volunteer to provide awesome, industry-standard training and mentoring to participants, who consistently rate the mentoring support as key to building their confidence. 


diners served

Scarf diners are essential to our model, creating a real-world restaurant experience for trainees, and financially supporting our social enterprise.


participant wages

Scarf trainees and graduates have collectively earned over $280,000 in award wages through
 Scarf Dinners, events and paid trials/work experience shifts, paid directly by Scarf.

*Lack of recent work experience and local references are consistently identified as two of the most significant barriers to employment for newly arrived refugees, migrants and people seeking protection. 

Hear from more Scarf graduates.

Scarf News