Volunteer mentors play a vital part in Scarf programs. Hospitality professionals with big hearts take on this important role, to share their knowledge, skills and networks with Scarf trainees. We'd love to introduce you to some of the legends who've mentored during recent Scarf seasons. 

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Maeve - Mentor

Maeve has been a volunteer mentor since Winter Scarf '16 at Robert Burns Hotel, returning for subsequent seasons at The Lincoln, Auction Rooms and The Rochey. She has also recently completed her Masters of Teaching, specialising in teaching French, Psychology and English in secondary schools. Between full-time study and Scarf mentoring, Maeve has been lucky to work in several very delicious and community-focused hospitality businesses - from managing The General Food Store, a small cafe in the Dandenong Ranges, to front of house at the hatted farm-to-plate O.MY Restaurant in Beaconsfield, and most recently at a tiny but brilliant cake shop called Beatrix in North Melbourne. Her great enthusiasm for creating empathetic and supportive learning environments, and for fostering self-confidence and growth in young people has been very well suited to the Scarf training program. Finding particular fulfilment in building fun and mutually rewarding relationships with trainees has seen her return to Scarf year after year, as a mentor, lead mentor, fundraising campaign volunteer, practice job interviewer and enthusiastic diner! Maeve also loves introducing friends and family to the warmth of Scarf Dinners and plans to continue her involvement with Scarf for years to come. 

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Gabs - Mentor and Trainer

Gabriel (or Gabs as he's more commonly known) 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 mentored and run 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 trainees as they learn and evolve throughout the program.

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Megha - Mentor

Megha has been working in hospitality since she has been in Australia, which is 6 years. She is currently working at Cafe Blac and also as a Community & Events Assistant at One Roof Women. She's worked in varied settings in hospitality, including events at Sofitel on Collins, different cafes and restaurants. But it is the cafe vibe that resonates with her because she loves her coffee and whipping up coffees for her customers. It was through One Roof she got introduced to Scarf and absolutely loved the idea and hence landed herself here as a volunteer. It is after being a part of Scarf, she realised how much she loves giving back to the community and helping people towards their betterment.

Megha began volunteering with Scarf in 2019. Get to know her better in this Q&A

"It's so rewarding. Trainees get the courage and confidence to put themselves out there - so important to be able to start looking for work. I would tell every hospitality professional to mentor at Scarf because it's an opportunity give back to the community and industry which has led us to where we are now." Megha

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Rieko - Mentor

Rieko first became a Scarf Mentor in 2014 and we’ve been lucky enough to have him come back to several seasons since, as a Mentor and Lead Mentor. When undertaking the Volunteer Lead Mentor role, Rieko closely assisted the Scarf Restaurant Manager, running pre-service briefing and matching trainees with mentors, greeting and seating customers and overseeing the smooth running of service. Rieko has been working in hospitality for eight years, and his enthusiasm, professionalism and commitment are evident to all who work with him. Rieko believes that there is a great need for sharing knowledge, skills and networks with young people eager to learn. Rieko works at one of Melbourne’s best hotels, Pullman Melbourne on the Park, and is currently studying for his MBA. Get to know Rieko in this Q & A

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Caitlin - Mentor and Trainer

Caitlin has over a decade of experience in the hospitality industry across venues in Sydney, New York, Canada and Melbourne. After spending a few solid years behind the bar, she most recently was the Bar Manager at Garden State Hotel and has since joined the team at QT MelbourneCaitlin has been volunteering with Scarf for the three years she has been in Melbourne, both as a mentor and running bar training sessions throughout Scarf 10-week seasons. Caitlin believes the work Scarf is doing and the opportunities created is exactly the change the industry needs. Having seen many graduates go on to work at Garden State Hotel (at last count, six graduates have transitioned from Scarf to ongoing employment at Garden State Hotel), Caitlin has witnessed firsthand the impact of the program and how it can transform lives. 

"It's a privilege to work with the trainees and see the development that happens each season as they learn new skills, build confidence, and gain employment." Caitlin

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Inspired by the legends above? 

Head over to Hospitality Mentoring to get details about applying. 

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Cover image: Mentoring in action behind the bar during Spring Scarf '19 at Garden State Hotel. Photo: Roger Ungers