News From Navy Canteens – July/August 2019

It’s amazing just how fast the year gets away. We are now into September and that means end-of-financial-year reporting time. We have recently released our 2019-20 Corporate Plan and I am pleased to report that we have achieved our second successive surplus. This year’s surplus of $418k is larger than the surplus last year that followed three previous years of deficit where the organisation lost around $1m. The turnaround in our financial results is due largely to one thing – our people. It has been great working with all of you to help make this an organisation that now makes sustainable returns for the Navy family and has a secure future. Well done to all of you!

These solid financial results have created a sound foundation for us to continue to improve and grow our operations and I look forward to working with you to make Navy Canteens an organisation we are all proud to work for.

I will be meeting with the business managers in the coming weeks to talk about the next steps in improving their businesses. Our business managers are part of a great team and I can see the changes that they are making to their businesses are yielding positive results. Rhonda, our business manager at HMAS Cerberus, has been doing some work on new cooking technologies including air fryers and blast ovens so we can produce healthier foods. Iain, our business manager at Garden Island, has been exploring how to minimise our environmental footprint by minimising waste. This is exciting, and it’s the sort of forward thinking that will help sustainably grow our organisation into the future.

I am also excited about the work our National People & Culture Manager Sally Mills is doing with the culture of the organisation. Sally will be working with all managers to implement personal development plans for all of our employees. I see this is a great opportunity for all our employees to increase their experience and skills and in this way help to make Navy Canteens a better organisation and, more importantly, a great place to work.

I’d also like to say a big thank you to our holiday park managers; Jak, Viv, Lanie, Dave, and Kelly. This was the first winter managing the parks for Kelly, our manager at Amblin, and Lani and Dave, our managers at Bungalow. They have done a great job in improving their businesses and increasing their returns over the traditionally quiet winter period. Great work! Don’t forget, if you are thinking of a holiday, remember our holiday parks – I’m sure our great managers will make you feel most welcome.

Many of you are aware of the issues that we have had with the condition of some of our premises. In some instances, like at Café 51 and Café 1 at Garden Island, we have had to modify our operations to ensure healthy and safe conditions for our people. A big thank you to Iain and his team at Garden Island who have worked hard to make the changes necessary with minimal disruption to operations. Unfortunately, other changes to improve our premises will continue to take some time and will unfortunately result in disruptions to some operations. However, the upside is that we will end up with improved premises that are healthier and safer as well as great places for our customers to enjoy.

What a fantastic eight months for Navy Canteens! Everyone has been working hard towards the future of the organisation and we could not be prouder of our staff. We will shortly commence our 65th birthday celebrations throughout October and November, with celebrations taking place Australia-wide. Stay tuned for more information coming soon.

We’re working hard towards introducing new technology in the workplace, including a new incident reporting app for iOS and Android. The implementation of this app will roll out soon and will make it easier and faster for you and your managers to report workplace incidents. Segueing off this, a friendly reminder that all incidents must be reported to your manager only. Please check the staff intranet for further information.

Group certificates have now been sent out to you through the MyGov website. If you have recently changed your personal details, please contact with updated name, address, and/or contact number details.

Navy Canteens would also like to acknowledge the professional development of those employees who have taken the extra step towards improving personal job satisfaction and workplace productivity. As a result, Navy Canteens will provide employees with the opportunity to participate in career development activities that extend and enhance their capabilities for advancement within the organisation. If you wish to further your career aspirations within the organisation, please check out the Professional Development Procedure on the employee intranet.

And finally, as we move into summer, please let your manager know if you need new uniforms as we are predicting higher than usual temperatures.


HMAS Kuttabul

Since European settlement, Garden Island, or HMAS Kuttabul, has served as the premier naval base for both British and Australian maritime forces. With a vast and well-shielded natural harbour, Garden Island continues to expand its reach as the traditional centre of naval activity in Australia. Today, Garden Island serves as the administrative centre for Fleet Base East as well as a precinct for all naval operations along Potts Point.

The base also serves as a major marine engineering and refit hub for work undertaken on equipment and ships. The northern tip of Garden Island is open to the public and holds the Royal Australian Navy Heritage Centre. Immediately south of this outdoor heritage precinct is HMAS Kuttabul, the Royal Australian Navy’s major administrative, logistics, and training support base for the Sydney and greater Sydney region. Although HMAS Kuttabul is administratively a separate facility to Garden Island the two names have become interchangeable to Navy personnel.

Navy Canteens at the base

Navy Canteens operates three hubs at the Garden Islands/ HMAS Kuttabul location.

NSW Regional Manager Iain McAndrew wants to continue Navy Canteens’ strong relationship with Navy personnel through outstanding customer service and a great range of quality foods.

“The passion we have for good, simple food seems to resonate with our customers who respond well to the things that we do here.


Crispy pork belly


  • 900gm of pork belly
  • 1 cup of table salt
  • 1/4 cup of soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup of Shaoxing rice wine
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced


Using a paper towel, pat the skin of the pork belly until it is completely dry. Mix the marinade ingredients in a bowl and then pour the marinade into a rectangular pan that’s large enough to hold the pork belly. Place the pork belly into the pan making sure that only the meat touches the marinade and that the skin stays completely dry. If the marmalade level is too high in the pan you can pour some of it out. Once that’s all done, place the pan in a fridge for several hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 180℃. Completely line a roasting pan with foil (this will make the clean-up easier). Pour an inch of water into the pan, place a wire rack on the top of the pan, and place the pork belly on the top of the rack (the pork belly will need to cook above the water). Make sure that the pork belly is level on the rack. Now spread the cup of table salt evenly across the pork belly skin.

Place the prepared roasting pan into the top-half of an oven and bake the pork belly for approximately 40 minutes, or until the meat looks cooked.

Now remove the roasting pan from the oven and increase the temperature to 240℃. The table salt covering the pork belly should have formed a crust, but wipe away any excess salt from the pork belly’s skin. Once the oven has reached the new temperature, place the roasting pan back inside the oven and bake it for another 30 minutes, or until the skin is completely bubbly and crisp.

Let the pork belly cool for a few minutes, then slice, serve, and enjoy!

© Navy Canteens 2021