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Chairman's Message

In FY19/20 Navy Canteens celebrated 65 years of service to Navy personnel and the Navy community. Navy Canteens is committed to continuing this proud history into the future by focusing on ways to better service and support a thinking, fighting, Australian Navy.
Navy Canteens is a corporate Commonwealth entity that operates in accordance with
the Navy (Canteen) Regulation (2016) and the Public Governance Performance and
Accountability Act 2013.

Navy Canteens is a medium sized enterprise that has grown substantially over the last decade with an asset base of $21 million. At its core, Navy Canteens operates 16 facilities across 10 Navy bases, Australia wide. Additionally, the Enterprise facilitates three Holiday Parks, a Navy Ticketing service, a Win With Navy Raffle and Navy Canteens Merchandise. To achieve its objectives and improve its level of service, Navy Canteens maintains a close collaborative relationship with Navy to ensure profit is generated and proceeds are directed to where they are needed most.
I commenced as Chair of Navy Canteens in October 2019, taking over from Commodore Michael Miko, AM, RAN who served as Chair for three years. In addition, as part of a broader succession plan, a long standing Director stepped aside mid year after five years on the Board.

FY19/20 has been an eventful year for the Enterprise. While Navy Canteens celebrated 65 years of service to Navy it also experienced the effects of “once in a century” bushfires on the east coast of Australia followed by the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Both of these unprecedented events impacted on the operations and financial returns to the Enterprise over FY19/20. The effects of COVID -19 are expected to continue to impact on the Enterprise for some time to come.

The bushfires on the east coast of Australia brought significant disruptions to our Holiday Parks with the operations closing down during the busy summer holiday season.

The emergence of COVID-19 in Australia during March 2020 resulted in significant impacts to our way of life, our economy, our communities and the way we conduct business. During Australia’s national lockdown, our operations experienced reduction in revenue in excess of 30%. Canteen operations experienced low levels of trade while our Holiday Parks, recovering from the effects of bushfire, were again closed and lost the important Easter trade. The Win With Navy, Navy Ticketing and Navy Merchandise services also experienced downturns in revenue.

Despite these factors, the Enterprise is expected to deliver a small financial surplus
for FY19/20, once adjustments for business interruption insurance claims are settled.
This is a hard earned, yet positive outcome, that is a result of the deep changes made to the nature of the Enterprise over the last two years as part of the Strategic Plan developed in 2018. In addition to the changes as a result of the Strategic Plan, careful management of the operations over the latter months of the financial year further contributed to the result.

The events of FY19/20 and our response to them have fundamentally changed the way we view our operations with the implementation of new and innovative ways to deliver our services. It has also impacted on the way our employees work, engage, communicate and develop the business. The lessons learnt from these experiences have highlighted the importance of a positive and rewarding work environment, characterised by respect, employee advancement, engagement, innovation and a high-performance culture. Because of their success, many of the work innovations implemented in response to COVID-19 will be maintained and will become a permanent feature of our workplace culture in the future.

As the impacts of COVID-19 are assessed, it is evident that the Enterprise has solidly entrenched its operations as an essential service component of life on Navy Bases. This has been achieved through the development of strong partnerships with Navy Commands, Government agencies and private sector entities and through growing support from our customers.

This annual report provides an insight into the Enterprise and its journey through FY19/20. The report contains much to be proud of as well as future opportunities for the Enterprise to improve its service to, and in support of the Navy family.

S.G. Ottaviano

Commodore, RAN