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Which Scarf program did you take part in?

Spring Scarf '17 at Auction Rooms.

Which country were you born in?

Iraq.

Why did you apply for the Scarf program?

To get skills, get a job and make friends.

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How did you hear about Scarf?

From my friend [who’d been a trainee in a previous program].

Spring Scarf '17 trainees outside our wonderful partner restaurant for the season, Auction Rooms. Photo: Gareth Sobey

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

I gained good skills.

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

Yes it was really good; I learned a lot of things from the mentors.

Rawan working at Scarf's annual fundraiser, Do More Than Dine '18. Photo: Linsey Rendell.

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Rawan shares some insight into her Scarf experience during Do More Than Dine '18. Video: Roger Ungers.

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

Yes, [the Scarf team were] always with me, helping me and giving me support.

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

Within a couple of months, I began to work at Free to Feed as an instructor teaching how to make the food; and at The Humble Dumpling as an assistant. Both jobs were part time. 

Rawan and Lara from Free to Feed, cooking up a storm for Scarf's Strategic Planning workshop in late 2018. Photo: Linsey Rendell.

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Rawan quickly became a shining light at Free to Feed, where she shared her culture and food with the Melbourne community as a Cooking Instructor. We have been so inspired by Rawan's drive to continually develop her skills and expertise in so many areas; she has a true love for learning. Her hearty Iraqi food is so delicious but her natural teaching skills are a highlight and she has such a lovely rapport with guests. Most of her classes end with some lively dancing around the table!

- Lara Widdop, Free to Feed. 

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The beautiful Iraqi feast Rawan cooked up for Scarf's Strategic Planning workshop in late 2018. Photo: Linsey Rendell.

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

Yes, I worked at Do More Than Dine ‘18. 

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

Yes, I’m happy to be part of this family. 

Do More Than Dine '18 - Scarf graduates take a quick snap with Scarf ambassador Matt Preston. Photo: Linsey Rendell

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Is there anything else you'd like to mention?

I would like to say Scarf, it was really a good opportunity for me. I love all the experiences and I learned a lot, and became confident. 

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

It is really a great experience, don’t miss it. 

Rawan and Lara from Free to Feed. Photo: Linsey Rendell.

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NB: The above Q+A was conducted via email in December 2019. Rawan is currently on maternity leave from Free to Feed
Portrait photo: Gareth Sobey