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!

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The Difference We Make

Scarf has impacted many lives since we began running programs in 2010. The following videos will give you some insight into the social impact we make!

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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.

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Hands-On Hospitality Training

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Author: Hannah Brennan

Trauma-Informed Approach

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Author: Hannah Brennan

What's a Scarf Dinner?

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Author: JENNIFER CONROY SMITH

Trainee & Graduate Wellbeing

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Author: Hannah Brennan

Graduate Focus Group

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Author: Hannah Brennan

Boosting Job Readiness

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Author: Hannah Brennan

Our Impact

The below statistics are current at 31 March 2022

34

total programs

2 x Skill Up with Scarf Programs

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

283

total graduates

17 x Skill Up with Scarf graduates

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

92%

trainee retention rate

Of the 308 young people who have enrolled in Scarf programs since 2010, 283 have graduated.

244

Scarf Dinners & events 

This includes 236 Seasonal Scarf Dinners and four Do More Than Dine fundraising events.

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17,705

hours of hands-on industry training

- 14,843 directly facilitated by Scarf team, trainers and mentors 
- 2,863 facilitated by Scarf Partners including Five Senses and Complete Hospitality Training

8,210

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.

8,713

hours of paid work experience

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

72%

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. 


34

partner restaurants

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

261

mentors & trainers

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

16,930

diners served

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

$217,825

participant wages

Scarf trainees and graduates have collectively earned $217,825 in award wages 
for their work during Scarf Dinners and events, 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 refugee, migrants and people seeking protection. 

Hear from more Scarf graduates.

Scarf News

  • Melbourne Women's Fund supports Scarf

    With support from the Melbourne Women's Fund, we're excited to be running a special short-course for young women from protection-seeking, refugee and migrant backgrounds in 2020. Read more

  • Stay Home with Scarf

    Current restaurant restrictions mean Scarf Dinners are on hold for the foreseeable future. So, during this time, we're encouraging our regular diners (and new supporters!) to 'Stay Home with Scarf'. Read more

  • Scarf Auspices CoVid-19 E.A.D

    Scarf has just become the auspice organisation for CoVid-19 Employee Assistance Directive, a new not-for-profit feeding Melbourne hospo workers who've been left jobless. Read more