The inaugural HOSTPLUS Hospitality Scholarship supported by Melbourne Food and Wine has now launched! If you are working in the hospitality industry, are under 30 years old and are seeking a way to kick-start your career, this scholarship opportunity is for you.

From apprentice chefs to budding winemakers, sommeliers, maître d’s, producers, brewers, restaurateurs and everything in between, the HOSTPLUS Hospitality Scholarship supported by Melbourne Food and Wine is open to individuals 18 – 30 years old across Australia working in the food, wine and hospitality industry.

The scholarship offers work experience in three renowned restaurants or wineries across the world and the exclusive opportunity to learn from international leaders and visionaries, and includes return international flights, $2,000 spending money, a year-long mentorship with a Melbourne Food and Wine Legend, and the opportunity to share their experience with a video blog.

The judging panel includes Natalie O’Brien, CEO, Melbourne Food and Wine; Umberto Mecchi, executive manager, strategy and marketing at HOSTPLUS; Matteo Pignatelli from Restaurant Catering Australia; current Melbourne Food and Wine Legend Gail Donovan; and 2014 HOSTPLUS Trailblazer Rafael Rashid.

Applying is simple! Check out this short video for details.

Submissions are open from 3 March until 23 April and the winner will be announced in June 2014.

What's on offer

This once-in-a-lifetime experience includes:

  • International economy return airfares to the maximum value of $4,000.00
  • A money can’t buy experience of three four-day stages at internationally acclaimed food and wine businesses outside of Australia
  • Accommodation during the overseas stay (up to 15 nights) to the maximum value of $4,000.00
  • $2,000.00 AUD spending money
  • Go Pro Camera –  to capture the experience
  • A money can’t buy mentorship experience with a Melbourne Food and Wine Legend
  • A Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2015 foodie experience with exclusive tickets to selected events to the maximum value of $500.00
  • Exclusive invite to the 2015 Legends Announcement and Chef Jam, with a speaking opportunity at both events


Applications open now and close 23 April 2014

Show us your style! We want to see you in action and hear your passion about the hospitality industry.

1. Record a short video on your smartphone

Grab a friend and a smartphone (or any other recording device) and record a short 3-5 minute video, telling us a little about yourself, your experience in the hospitality industry and why this scholarship is made for you!

View the below selection criteria for guidance on what to include in your video.

We're not looking for professional standard video, just a quick, homemade piece that shows us your passion for the industry.

2. Gather the below documentation

  1. Your current CV
  2. Two references - one professional, one personal
  3. Statement of work from the Applicant’s current employer confirming that they are employed in the hospitality industry, as defined by the Terms and Conditions
  4. A copy of the Applicant’s current valid passport
  5. A signed copy of page seven of the Terms and Conditions

3. Submit your application to the Festival team

Create a Dropbox account (or login to an existing account if you have one) and upload your submission video and supporting documents to a central folder (remember to include your name in the folder title!). 

Once uploaded, share your application folder with the Festival team at

Selection Criteria

Applicants must address the Selection Criteria in their submission

  1. A young leader with the ability to shape the future of  the hospitality industry
  2. Highly skilled and knowledgeable about specific area of expertise within the hospitality industry
  3. Ambitious and driven to succeed, with a passion for the food and wine industry
  4. Acts in a professional manner and has strong communication (verbal & written) and organisational skills
  5. The ability to work as a member of a team and has a willingness to share their skills & knowledge with others
  6. Has an understanding of social media and is able to communicate in the digital space
  7. An Australian resident, aged between 18-30 years
  8. Currently employed in the hospitality industry with a minimum of two years’ experience

Winner requirements

  • Available in June 2014 to travel to Melbourne when the winner is announced
  • The recipient will be provided with a camera to film / photograph their experience and share with an audience of HOSTPLUS members and Melbourne Food and Wine
  • Present at the 2015 Melbourne Food and Wine Legends announcement and speak about the experience and the 2015 Chef Jam event and speak about the experience and show relevant footage
  • For all posts via social media featuring the Scholarship, winner to include the relevant #hashtag and @handle with reference to HOSTPLUS
  • HOSTPLUS will have access to the winner for PR opportunities at a mutually agreed number of times and at agreed locations
  • HOSTPLUS will have access to the winner for PR purposes during the year following the award (June 2014 to June 2015)
  • The recipient will be required to send a regular journal update (at the end of every stage), sharing their learning experience, to Melbourne Food and Wine and HOSTPLUS while they are overseas. Melbourne Food and Wine and HOSTPLUS will edit the journal entries into blog articles which will be shared on and via social media. Journal entries to be 250 words.
  • Throughout the year, Melbourne Food and Wine will contact the winner post each mentoring session to have a Q&A and discuss key learnings. MFW will turn these Q&As into news articles which will be shared on and via social media and HOSTPLUS.

* The HOSTPLUS Hospitality Scholarship recipient will be provided with a detailed brief prior to their international travel so they clearly understand their requirements.

Terms and Conditions

Please read the Terms and Conditions. By signing page 7 you certify that you have read and agree to abide by all such Terms and Conditions and that your application will be subject to them.