First, we eat. Then we can change the world! 

Good health and physical fitness are key ingredients to Australian Defence Force personnels' readiness. One of the best ways to build strength and stamina is to eat nutritious foods that provide the body with the requirements for optimal military performance.

To offer a consistent and improved approach to menus and food service delivery, Ventia formed a national "Better You" working group. The group comprised representatives from all around Australia. The resulting 'Better You' initiative aims to transform Ventia's food service offering across all Ventia-operated Defence messing facilities. The working group agreed that a menu focused on healthy options and displays of educational tools about nutrition would be a welcome innovation.

Image 1: Healthy options at RAAF Base Pearce. Image 2: Andrew Bartlett GM Asset Management and Lidia Simione check out the Grab & Go options at Simpson Barracks.

"The 'Better You' initiative provides Defence members and guests with a holistic approach to nutrition, the environment, and their wellbeing," says Ventia's General Manager Asset Management, Andrew Bartlett. 

From healthy menu options to reducing plate waste and single-use plastics, the initiative makes healthy choices easier whilst having a positive impact on the environment and personal wellbeing.


Fruit display at Robertson Barracks
Fruit display at Robertson Barracks.

'Better You' also aims to elevate the dining experience, improving visual ambiance and the presentation of meals. Ventia are committed to Defence members and guest satisfaction, continually improving the service offering by addressing the needs and wants of this diverse group. 

The 'Better You' initiative was launched nationally on 1 July.

Representatives from Ventia and the Australian Defence Force supported the launch, participating in events at Robertson Barracks in the Northern Territory, RAAF Pearce in Western Australia, Simpson Barracks in Victoria and RAAF Edinburgh in South Australia.

Image 1: John Parisella GM Southeast Zone cuts the ribbon with Mardi Jarvis Assistant Secretary, Regional Services (Department of Defence). Image 2: Fruit and educational display at RAAF Base Edinburgh.

Simultaneous ribbon-cutting ceremonies were conducted across the four launch locations. Guests sampled a meal from the new seasonal menu, which was given the nod of approval! Guests were also shown to the 'Grab & Go' options, full of healthy meals and snacks for those on the run. 

Congratulations to our Hospitality & Catering team for the launch of this great initiative! 


The teams. Image 1: Simpson Barracks, Image 2: Robertson Barracks, Image 3 RAAF Base Edinburgh and Image 4: RAAF Base Pearce