Navy Canteens celebrates 65 years of service

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Dave Devlin (author), POIS Nina Fogliani (photographer)

Location(s): HMAS Cerberus, VIC

Topic(s): Navy Canteens

Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, AO, RAN and the youngest member of HMAS Cerberus, Seaman Trainee William Judd, together with Navy Canteens Manager Rhonda Gregg, cut the cake to celebrate Navy Canteen's 65th birthday, at HMAS Cerberus, Victoria. (photo: POIS Nina Fogliani)
Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, AO, RAN and the youngest member of HMAS Cerberus, Seaman Trainee William Judd, together with Navy Canteens Manager Rhonda Gregg, cut the cake to celebrate Navy Canteen's 65th birthday, at HMAS Cerberus, Victoria.

Navy Canteens has celebrated 65 years of enhancing the lives of Navy people and their families through the provision of morale and welfare services and support.

In a small but significant celebration at HMAS Cerberus, members of the Navy family gathered to reflect on the growing list of accomplishments achieved by Navy Canteens.

Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Mike Noonan, thanked all staff and volunteers that make up Navy Canteens. More than 150 people work for the organisation across Australia.

“The fantastic service provided by Navy Canteens and its staff directly contributes to the morale and welfare of all of our Navy people and their families, and we’re very proud of the support you all make to our daily lives,” Vice Admiral Noonan said.

Navy Canteens serves and supports more than 14,000 Navy members and their families through funds raised at 16 cafes on 10 Navy establishments across Australia. The organisation also operates a discount ticketing service, provides low-cost holiday accommodation, sells Navy merchandise and conducts a fortnightly ‘Win With Navy’ raffle.

Director General Logistics - Navy and Chairman of the Royal Australian Navy Central Canteens Board, Commodore Simon Ottaviano, said Navy Canteens was a silent achiever.

“Navy Canteens has provided invaluable service to our Navy people and has assisted in providing essential support to the broader Navy family for the last 65 years,” Commodore Ottaviano said.

“In addition to providing invaluable support to our serving sailors, the last 10 years has seen Navy Canteens provide close to $5 million in grants to fund Navy recreation and welfare initiatives.

“This includes around $1.2 million for the Royal Australian Navy Relief Trust Fund, $2 million to the Navy Sports Council and $1.8 million for specific welfare activities on Navy ships and establishments.

“It’s also the little extra services and benefits for the Navy family that often go unnoticed that we should also acknowledge Navy Canteens for,” Commodore Ottaviano said.

The Navy Canteens entertainment ticketing service provides discounted tickets to premier events, stage shows and various attractions throughout Australia, so, even when serving at sea, sailors can book shows and events.

Navy Canteens also operates a number of holiday parks around Australia that provide discounted accommodation for serving Defence personnel and their families. 

“By providing essential services and support to Navy through its own activities, and without any direct financial support from Government, Navy Canteens continues to be a great example of a successful Government business enterprise,” Commodore Ottaviano added.

With Navy continuing to grow the number of serving personnel in coming years, Navy Canteens plays an increasing role in the future of the Navy.

Its provision of essential services, robust networks and support will be critical in enhancing retention, welfare and morale so that next generation Navy is fit to fight.

Imagery is available on the Navy Image Gallery: http://images.navy.gov.au/S20193227.