Hostplus Hospitality Scholarship

The prestigious Hostplus Hospitality Scholarship offers the next generation of Australian hospitality workers aged between 22 and 35 a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fast-track their development in their profession.

Sarah Cremona | 2022 winner

Hero Photo: Sarah Cremona

For many young chefs, a three-month stage at the best restaurant in the world might represent a clear career highlight. Not Sarah Cremona, who traded an executive career in banking for a life on the pans – a leap of faith she points to as her proudest achievement to date.

A chef de partie at Pt Leo Estate, Cremona is passionate about grassroots produce, provenance and sustainability, but it’s her concern for the attrition rate in under-35 hospitality professionals that appealed to the Hostplus Hospitality Scholarship judges, a problem she’s eager to tackle by repositioning a career in hospitality as something that can be aspirational, not stopgap.

Her dream venue, she says, would “actively promote local produce, educating diners and staff alike,” while training and investing in the next generation of hospitality. “Sarah embodies everything that this scholarship is about,” says Umberto Mecchi of Hostplus. “She has clear goals, a vision for the industry, and a wide-ranging understanding of what’s required to make these things happen.” 

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About the Scholarship

The Scholarship prize is facilitated by Melbourne Food & Wine Festival through its hospitality networks, and the winner’s work experience will be tailored to their career interests – from the paddock to the kitchen, the cellar to the dining room and everywhere in between. Past finalists include not just chefs, waiters and managers but also young professionals from coffee, butchery, wine and other aspects of hospitality.

This year the prize includes:

1 x five-day work experience within Australia
Up to $1,500 towards flights
Up to $1,750 towards accommodation
$1,000 cash
Up to $5,000 to spend on professional development or training at an agreed and approved education provider, or on professional tools, kitchen equipment or similar to progress professional development.
$500 worth of tickets to attend MFWF events in 2023

The Scholarship winner will also be partnered with a local industry leader for a year-long mentorship to expand their industry experience and connections in their chosen field.