Baristas encouraged to apply for Hostplus Hospitality Scholarship

Applications for the nationwide Hostplus Hospitality Scholarship are now open. In its fifth year, the prestigious scholarship offers the next generation of Australian hospitality workers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work across three different countries in internationally acclaimed hospitality businesses. 

On their return to Australia, the scholarship winner will be partnered with a local industry leader for a year-long mentorship, furthering the opportunity to expand their industry experience and make valuable connections in their chosen field.

This year, three shortlisted finalists will also be invited to participate in an exclusive development day with Hostplus ambassador Shane Delia, acclaimed Melbourne chef and hospitality business owner of Maha and Biggie Smalls. Partners and producers from the business will join Shane to share inspiration from his extensive travel, plus insights to his progression through Australia’s dynamic hospitality industry.

Scholarship applications are open to hospitality workers across all areas of expertise including the cafe bar, paddock, cellar, kitchen, front-of-house, and everywhere in between.

The 2017 Scholarship winner, Caitlyn Rees, is the head sommelier at Charlie Parker’s and Fred’s in Sydney. Later this year, Caitlyn is due to embark on her scholarship journey working at venues in both the United States and Europe.

“This scholarship is an outstanding opportunity for rising stars across the breadth of the Australian hospitality industry. Hostplus is extremely proud to support this initiative that will create once-in-a-career connections and learning experiences,”  says Umberto Mecchi, chief marketing officer at Hostplus.

The judging panel for the applications features leaders from across the hospitality industry, including Gail Donovan, restaurateur at Donovans; Umberto Mecchi, chief marketing officer at Hostplus; Jo-Ann Moody, gastronomy manager at Melbourne Food and Wine Festival; Rafael Rashid, founder and owner of Beat Box Kitchen, Taco Truck, and All Day Donuts; Matteo Pignatelli, owner and operator of Matteo’s restaurant in Melbourne; and Fleur Studd, owner of Melbourne Coffee Merchants and co-founder of Market Lane Coffee.

Online applications for the scholarship opened on 15 March and will close 5pm EST on Friday 4 May. Applications are open to all Australian residents aged 22 to 35 and currently working in any area of expertise within the hospitality industry.

For more information and to apply visit

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