This Scarf graduate Q & A is part of our new 'Stay Home with Scarf' campaign. Find out more here.

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Which Scarf program did you take part in?

Winter Scarf '19 at Uncle.

Which country were you born in?

Mauritius.

Why did you apply for the Scarf program?

I wanted to meet new friends and learn the best skills in hospitality.

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What was your experience of job-hunting/applying for jobs before you came to Scarf?

Very often I did not get a response and I did not have a good reference for guiding me in sending my resume. I feel a low confidence and sad.

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The Winter Scarf '19 team at Uncle. L to R: Wafaa, Rosetta, Bronya, Liz, Josie, Helen & Don. Photo: Peter Tarasiuk

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How did you hear about Scarf?

I heard about it through social media and Scarf's website.

What what you were expecting at Scarf? What surprised you most?

I did the Scarf program with an openness to learn and it was successful. I was surprised to feel the happiness, lots of fun and love besides the learning parts of the program.

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Liz gained weekly paid work experience during Scarf Dinners at Uncle during our Winter Scarf '19 season. Photo: Peter Tarasiuk

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What was the most valuable thing you got from participating in Scarf?

Learning to be more confident and always do things well, on time and with love.

I did the Scarf program with an openness to learn and it was successful. My mentors were very professional, caring and helped me a lot to gain my confidence.

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Training during Winter Scarf '19 - hands-on coffee sessions with Adrian from Five Senses

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Do you think working with a mentor is a positive thing? If so, why?

Yes. My mentors were very professional, caring and helped me a lot to gain my confidence.

Did the Scarf program help to increase your confidence? If so, why?

Yes, the Scarf program makes me believes in myself and become a better hospitality staff in my workplace.

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Bar training at Garden State Hotel with Scarf mentor (and Sandhill Road Group legend) Kevin. Photo: Sanjay Productions.

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Tell us about the first job you got after you finished Scarf. 

I started working as a catering assistant at Chefs On the Run. I was employed casually for 30 hours a week. I loved working with the chefs and discovering the different style of cooking. I worked there for five months. My career goal is to become a Chef.

It is very special to work every day [at FareShare] and serve the most needy community during the difficult time at the moment. Everything is provided to keep all the employees safe at the moment. I love my job. 

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Winter Scarf '19 team after a hotel tour and "mocktail" training session with Holly and Tom at Pullman Melbourne on The Park

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Have you been involved in anything else at Scarf since you graduated? 

I always stay in touch with Scarf social events and fundraising. I was a waitress at Melbourne Women's Fund end of year dinner at Uncle restaurant last November. In February 2020, I was in the merchandise and ticket raffle team at the Scarf Turns 10! awesome party. Being a Scarf graduate is very special. It is always fun, happy and caring when graduates, trainees and mentors meet for an event or a dinner.

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Liz and some of the Winter Scarf '19 graduates working at the Melbourne Women's Fund end-of-year dinner at Uncle. Cameo appearances by Uncle co-owner and head chef Dai (left) and Uncle front-of-house manager and Scarf mentor Alix (right)

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Where are you working right now? 

In June I started a new full time kitchen attendant position within a food rescue and charitable organisation: FareShare, after connecting with them through Scarf. I am working in the pastry and packing section. I am very happy to get the opportunity and to be part of the awesome kitchen team at FareShare. 

What's the best thing about your job? 

It is very special to work every day and serve the most needy community during the difficult time at the moment. Everything is provided to keep all the employees safe at the moment. I love my job. I’ll soon be able to move into a private studio for myself, pay all my bills with my next pay. I’m so grateful for that. 

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Liz hard at work in the FareShare kitchen. Photos: Josie Hayden for Leader Newspaper

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Would you like to become a mentor or trainer at Scarf in the future? 

Yes, I would like to help other trainees and share my experience.

Do you have any words of advice for other young people who are interested in participating in Scarf?

Scarf is a special, caring and loving community. Just be yourself and happy to learn.

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Winter Scarf '19 team of trainees and mentors at Uncle. Photo: Sanjay Productions.

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Photo: Bronya and Liz relax after gaining paid work experience at Scarf Turns 10! at Worksmith Collingwood. Photo: Kaniography
Portrait photo: Sanjay Productions

NB: The above Q+A was conducted via email in July 2020.