Hannah Colman

Co-founder and General Manager

Hannah is a hospitality professional, Swinburne Multimedia (Media Studies) graduate and occasional freelance writer with a soft spot for limericks. She’s worked in restaurants for over 10 years, and loves food (particularly Italian, Mexican and Thai) and the social side of hospitality. After volunteering with the refugee community in Fitzroy, including editing *bespoken, a newspaper providing a voice to marginalised members of the community, run by The Social Studio, Hannah co-founded Scarf with Jess Moran in 2010. Hannah was a mentor in Scarf’s early programs, and looked after marketing and communications for three years, before becoming General Manager in 2013. She firmly believes in the power of social enterprise to allow young people to gain the skills, confidence and connections needed to break into employment. As well as ensuring the trainees get the most out of the program, Hannah is interested in fostering the Scarf community – volunteers, dinner guests, host restaurants, sponsors, knitters and the like. She also spends a bit of time gently reminding people that Scarf is not an acronym! In our case, it’s just a warm, comforting show of support and an expression of culture.

Hannah works Monday – Friday. Email: [email protected].

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Liz Grady

Partnerships and Communications Manager

Liz is a passionate communicator, has a genuine love of people and gets little-kid-excited about delicious food and the chance to make a positive difference in the lives of others. All this makes her a great fit for Scarf, where she strengthens people’s awareness of Scarf and finds new ways to grow its wonderful work. Whilst lecturing at RMIT University in 2012, Liz began volunteering for Scarf, in crafts projects and communications. She spent most of 2013 doing marketing at a luxury inn and farm-to-table restaurant in New York before returning to Melbourne and into a paid role at Scarf in early 2014. Liz has always loved the food scene and hospitality industry around the world, and she sees Melbourne’s food scene as one of the most exciting in the world, up there with Paris, New York, and anywhere!

Liz is currently on maternity leave. For Partnership, Sponsorship or Media enquiries, please contact [email protected].

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Jen Conroy - Smith

Programs Manager

Jen is an organiser, a do-er, and usually has lots of projects on the go at once. She comes from the UK, and despite being here for five years, she still struggles with our hot Melbourne summers! Jen is a sculptural ceramicist who holds a Degree and Masters in Arts, and she became interested in Community Development whilst doing a teaching degree. Working with charities and not for profits, Jen fell in love with community development and in helping people develop, and take steps to change their lives. Jen joined the Scarf team in October 2018 in a new Project Support & Training Supervisor role; and spent her first year in the organisation helping us improve systems, support trainees and generally keep the Scarf ship sailing! In September 2019, Jen moved into a Program Manager role, in which she recruits trainees, works closely with the core Scarf team to design and deliver programs, and continues to assist us in running an effective and efficient organisation! She also hangs out with the Scarf trainees once or twice a week, supervising training sessions and ensuring everyone is getting heaps out of the program. Jen brings a huge smile and a bunch of handy skills and experience, like running community engagement programs, managing events, coordinating volunteers and database management. Jen loves music (of course she does, she’s from Manchester!) and spends her spare time going to see bands. Passionate about other cultures, she’s been lucky enough to travel to lots of different countries, her favourites have been Cambodia, India and Peru (so far!)Jen works at Scarf three and a half days across the week. Email: [email protected].

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Neil Baxendale

Wellbeing and Job Readiness Worker

Neil’s first job was in a family owned hotel in a seaside town in the North of England, and since then he’s worked in cafes, breweries and plenty of pubs (including supervising an East London pub during the 2012 Olympics, which he reckons was equal parts exhilarating and exhausting). Not content to just play the hospo game, Neil has also facilitated programs which helped young people in prison change their behaviours and lead more positive lives. After gaining a Diploma in Criminal Justice Studies, Neil worked as a Probation Officer in the UK, and then in Australia as a support worker for an outreach program, enabling adults to reintegrate into society after leaving prison. Neil was a volunteer restaurant mentor during Scarf seasons in 2014 and 2016 (and a keen diner during other seasons) and in August 2018 we were thrilled to welcome Neil to the team in the role of Wellbeing and Job Readiness Worker. This sees him running group workshops and one-on-one sessions with Scarf graduates as they transition from the program to ongoing employment. Neil’s main focus is on fostering the trainees’ strengths, building their confidence and providing really practical support with resumes, job hunting and job applications, interview skills and the like.

Neil works at Scarf on Tuesday afternoons and Fridays. Email: [email protected].  

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Jess Colgan

Finance Manager

Working with social enterprise and their founders is what Jess loves best. So together with her passion for and experience in hospitality, this makes Scarf her perfect match. We were excited welcome Jess to the team as our Finance Manager in August 2018. As a chartered accountant, Jess has enjoyed immense opportunity to partner with organisational leaders, creating effective solutions to critical business needs. For 7 years, Jess was Head of Finance at food&desire, a leading hospitality and events business in Melbourne. Her ability to analyse results, build solid relationships and strengthen culture have been the foundations of her success. In 2018, Jess co-founded social impact consultancy Y, collaborating with business to increase their positive social and environmental impact, and with social enterprise to create financially sustainable business models to thrive.  

Jess works at Scarf on Tuesday mornings. Email: [email protected].

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Mel Ross

Volunteer Bookings Manager

Mel is a food and wine lover who thrives on exploring Melbourne’s fantastic cafe and restaurant scene. Although she is a trained physiotherapist, she’d love to get into the events side of hospitality. She dreams of running her own cheese and wine bar, because cheese! And wine! Mel has two gorgeous young children, who keep her on her toes and take up most of her time outside of work. Mel has been supporting Scarf from the early days and loves having “date night” with her husband at Scarf Dinners. Mel joined the Scarf team in June 2015 to manage our bookings and support us with administration, and we literally don’t know what we’d do without her!

Mel volunteers at Scarf throughout the week. Email: [email protected].

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Guy Alexander

Volunteer Mentor Training Lead

Guy has been involved with Scarf for over three years as a mentor and a diner. Originally a teacher in his homeland of England, he booked a one way ticket to see the world. During his travels, Guy became a barista, cafe manager and maitre’d across various Melbourne and Wellington institutions. With a history of volunteering in a Red Cross store in Melbourne and a soup kitchen in Perth, when Guy heard about Scarf it seemed like the perfect opportunity to combine his skills in education and passions of hospitality and helping others. As Scarf's Volunteer Mentor Training Lead, Guy works closely with the Wellbeing and Job Readiness staff, and supports mentors throughout the season with pedagogical approaches to learning, ensuring that the trainees have the best chance of reaching their goals.