Melbourne Food & Wine Festival has announced Julie Davaine as the winner of the 2019 Hostplus Scholarship.
Following a rigorous four-month selection process, Davaine, general manager of four venues (Fred’s, Charlie Parker’s, The Paddington and The Chicken Shop) in the Merivale group in Sydney, has been named the winner of the hospitality scholarship.
Now in its sixth year, the Hostplus Scholarship offers Davaine a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work across three countries in internationally acclaimed hospitality businesses.
Upon her return to Australia, Davaine will continue to build on her industry experience over a year-long mentorship with a local industry leader.
Growing up in Paris, Davaine developed a passion for hospitality working at a brasserie while studying theatre and arts. Determined to push herself outside of her comfort zone, she moved to Sydney armed with just a suitcase and a few words of English.
Ten years after joining the Merivale group as a food runner at Sushi E, Davaine is now general manager of The Paddington precinct, overseeing four celebrated hospitality venues and more than 150 employees.
The judging panel were particularly impressed with Davaine’s inspiring leadership skills and her desire to shape the future of Australia’s hospitality industry. She is passionate about creating a supportive working environment while ensuring career progression opportunities are equal for women and men with families.
The Hostplus Scholarship is open to hospitality workers aged 22 to 35, and 2019’s applications represented a diverse and highly skilled cross-section of the business, from sommeliers and coffee professionals, to chefs and front-of-house. This year’s runners-up were Laura Dyba, restaurant manager at The Agrarian Kitchen Eatery, just outside Hobart, and Saba Alemayoh, owner/manager at Saba’s Ethiopian Restaurant in inner-city Melbourne.