News From Navy Canteens – Christmas Edition 2019

Previously, I mentioned that we have engaged the marketing company VMLY&R to assist us in developing a marketing plan. Through this process, the company has been looking at all aspects of our business. This has been a great exercise; with the team at VMLY&R providing some great advice on the future development and opportunities that exist for everyone at Navy Canteens. As part of the process the team sent out a survey seeking your help about information on the organisation. 

This was your opportunity to be part of planning the future of the organisation, including how we how we can make it better by providing a better service and making it a better place to work. Thank you to those that filled out the survey and were a part of planning our future.  I will keep you informed of key outcomes as we develop the marketing plan. This will include the possibility of renaming the organisation.

Now on to the newsletter! We are entering an exciting time for Navy Canteens with changes coming to all our operations.

  • Iain and the team at Café 1 have started a commercial trial of an air-fryer. If successful, we will be considering replacing the current deep fryers with the new air-fryers
  • We have trialled a pop-up stall to sell our new Under Armour sporting attire range. This was tested during the Gate to Gate at HMAS Penguin and continued outside Cafe 1 the next day.
  • The team at HMAS Cerberus has moved into the temporary mobile production kitchen whilst plans take shape to rejuvenate the operations. Big thanks to Rhonda and her team for seamlessly making the transition to the mobile kitchen.
  • Michael at HMAS Stirling has been preparing for the launch of the new food van at the kiosk site. This has involved the construction of a cement pad and a roof structure for the van.
  • Leigh is settling into the position of Manager at HMAS Albatross and HMAS Creswell, following her move from the Cairns operation
  • Kristy-Anne is almost ready to move back into the Larrakeyah operation after the ceiling was renewed. This will start the process for further works on the base. A vending solution will also come into the picture over the next couple months, providing 24/7 access to base personnel stationed on Larrakeyah.
  • We welcome Gary Brinkman, the new canteen manager at HMAS Cairns. A big thank you to Rhonda who has been helping manage Cairns in the interim.
  • Our Holiday Park managers, Kelly, Lanie and Dave, and Jack and Viv are busy in preparation for the festive season. This has involved a number of improvements to the parks.
  • A number of parks are at risk of fire during the summer months. However, the park managers are well prepared for the upcoming season.

As we move into the last days of 2019, I want to mention the number of events held around the country for our 65th birthday. I am humbled to be part of an organisation that has such a long and proud history of serving Navy and base personnel and has an equally exciting future serving our next generation Navy. I urge all to join in and celebrate our 65th year of operations in 2020.

Travel safe and have a well earned break this Christmas season. 2020 will be the year Navy Canteens resurfaces as a leader in defence for support and welfare.

Thank you for your hard work and efforts during 2019! It has been another year of growth and progression for the enterprise and we appreciate the contributions made by all. Navy Canteens 65th birthday celebrations were celebrated for canteen operations during the November and December period. I am greatly impressed at the incredible efforts our Canteen teams made in making these celebrations a great success overall.

As we progress through summer, please remember to stay hydrated as well as taking adequate rest breaks when the temperature reaches above 30 degrees. The CSIRO predicts that this summer will be particularly harsh for those working in back of house as well as outdoors. If working outside remember to wear protective items such as hats, sunglasses and sunscreen. Protective items can be obtained from your manager.

Personal Development Agreements (PDA’s) should now be in place for eligible employees across all operations. If you haven’t had this conversation yet, I encourage you to sit down with your manager to talk about your personal career growth and development, and how Navy Canteens can assist you with this process.

Navy Canteens would also like to remind Canteen based employees that Reduced Activity Period (RAP) is approaching quickly. From December 20th 2019 to January 15th 2020 activity on Navy bases will be reduced to a minimum. As a result, the canteens will also close for this period. If you have any questions about RAP, please don’t hesitate to contact your Manager or myself  –

And finally, congratulations to the employees of the month for September, October, November and December. Keep up the good work! Your contributions and efforts are appreciated and highly valued.


HMAS Cerberus

Based 70km out of Melbourne, HMAS Cerberus is the Australian Defence Force’s premier training facility. The primary role of HMAS Cerberus has always been Navy personnel training, however, with the extension of 4 tri-service schools, the base extends its reach to Army and Airforce personnel.

Comprising of a café, takeaway and bar, Navy Canteens at Cerberus caters to the needs of 6,000 defence force personnel annually. Millies is known around the base as the premier take away destination with a range of freshly made sandwiches and hot daily specials. Both Watches Café has hot breakfasts or made to order lunches, or, alternatively, defence personnel can visit the mobile Millies food van for coffee or a freshly cooked morning snack.

Navy Canteens at the base

Navy Canteens operates three canteens and two bars at HMAS Cerberus.

General Manager of Navy Canteens Cerberus Rhonda Gregg, believes that “The reputation of a 65 years may be undermined by the conduct of one hour… our base is the starting point for recruits/trainees, so we see sailors through their highs and their lows. Not only are we there to serve them, but we’re here as a bit of moral support.

As a part of the Navy Canteens brand, we all want to work together and increase our reputation amongst the sailors and the bases.


Loaded Pizza Fries


  • 1 medium sized bag of frozen french fries
  • 1 cup pizza sauce
  • 100g Sliced Pepperoni
  • 100g Shredded Ham
  • 150g Shredded Roast Chicken Breast
  • 150g Chopped Bacon
  • 2 1/2 cups Mozzarella Cheese
  • 2 Spring Onions – Thinly Sliced.


Preheat oven to 200℃. Prepare frozen chips as per packet instruction. Using a medium sized pan, cook chopped bacon until crispy and golden. Once the fries have finished baking and look golden and crispy, spread pizza sauce over. Top with cooked bacon, shredded ham, chicken and sliced pepperoni and add mozzarella cheese. Bake for 5-10 mins or until the cheese is a golden brown. Serve with sliced spring onion.

© Navy Canteens 2021