Management / Our People

At CCFA, we are proud to be producing, distributing, and marketing iconic brands including Canberra Milk to our customers, partners and for the Canberra community for many years. You may have seen our milk vans around Canberra delivering fresh milk, direct from our factory in Griffith, Canberra. We not only service the ACT, we also service the NSW South Coast and the Riverina with fresh milk made here in Canberra. 

At CCFA we have a passionate, dedicated team who take pride in what they do every day. From producing and distributing the freshest milk and getting it to local supermarkets, convenience stores, and coffee shops efficiently and as soon as we can … so that you can enjoy all the nutritious dairy goodness from our great brands including Canberra Milk, Dairy Farmers, and DARE. 

We appreciate that everyone has a choice, every time that they go shopping and we hope that people are as passionate and proud of where their products come from, as we are. For over 60 years CCFA (Canberra Milk) has been, and continues to be, the only milk processing factory in ACT - located in Mildura Street Griffith just up from the Fyshwick Markets. We support the local community in many ways, including providing direct jobs to 70 people and supporting many other local businesses each day. We are proud of what we do and proud to be producing and distributing fresh milk in Canberra, for Canberra.

CCFA and Canberra Milk have been part of many community groups over the years. Since 1982 Canberra Milk has had an association with the Canberra Raiders (NRL) - The Milk - is the front of jersey sponsor for several years.  CCFA has also supported the Super Rugby ACT Brumbies since their inception in 1996, the ABL Canberra Cavalry since 2012; and W-League Canberra United in 2016.

Over the years we have also supported many other community organisations such as the Canberra Agricultural Show; the Snowy Hydro South Care helicopter service representing over $1.5 million in donations to assist the new service being implemented to help care for the needs of NSW & ACT; and DVCS.

In addition, we help at various local events each year including local fetes, school fundraising, and charities. We are also proud to support schools with free milk every week to fuel their breakfast programs, helping disadvantaged kids. We also supply the Early Morning Centre in Canberra with milk each week, facilitating those who sleep rough the opportunity for a meal, training courses and other means to help them find a new path.
Canberra Milk is truly an iconic local brand, and close to the hearts of many Canberrians. “Proudly Ours” is our way of demonstrating how we feel and see the Canberra Milk brand. 
Thank you for your interest in our business at CCFA, we will continue to work hard to ensure that Canberra Milk together with our other beloved brands and locally made products are here for your enjoyment for years to come. 

Regards,

Managing Director CCFA
Steven Ness

 

 

 

Executive Board Team

 

Steven Ness - Managing Director, CCFA

Steve joined CCFA in March 2020 as Managing Director and as member of the CCFA Board. Steve has extensive experience in FMCG (food/beverage) and manufacturing industries both in Australia and Overseas. Prior to joining CCFA, Steve was the Managing Director – Australia for a global closures packaging company based in Melbourne. This company serviced both the local Australian wine industry and export markets. Key customers included Treasury Wines, Accolade, Casella Family Brands, Coke and Schweppes.

Completing a Bachelor of Business (Accounting), and MBA at RMIT, Steve started his FMCG career with Kraft Foods. Working across various functions and channels initially in Finance, then to Foodservice as National Account Manager – QSR, responsible for the likes of McDonalds, KFC and Red Rooster businesses. Retail Trade Marketing for a period, followed by a number of Senior Marketing roles across Kraft’s Cheese categories in Australia and Asia. Responsible for Brands including Coon, Cracker Barrel, Philadelphia Cream Cheese and Kraft Singles. Steve’s last marketing role was Marketing Director Philippines.

After a 16 year stint at Kraft, Steve moved into Consulting as the Principal of a boutique consulting business. This business worked mainly in the manufacturing sector, coaching Senior Leadership and Shopfloor teams in targeted Lean principles and KPI’s to deliver rapid and sustainable improvements. A consulting assignment at Guala Closures, lead to his appointment as Managing Director of the business in 2012.

Steve has been an active board member with several NFP’s in Melbourne’s Western suburbs. Including CHASE - which looks to improve the health literacy of secondary students via a mentoring program, and with the Sunshine Uniting Church – in establishing a Drop in Centre for local Youth.

 

 

 

 

Darryn Wallace - Marketing & Innovation Director, Lion Dairy & Drinks & Chairman of CCFA Board

Darryn is an experienced senior marketing and commercial director with over 25 years’ experience working within the FMCG industry. Prior to joining Lion Dairy & Drinks in 2016 as the Marketing Director, Darryn has held a variety of senior marketing and commercial roles with Cadbury, Schweppes and Asahi operating in the Australian Beverage and Food market place. Darryn was appointed the Marketing & Innovation Director of Lion Dairy & Drinks in October 2016. Alongside his current role Darryn has also served across industry bodies most recently as Chair of Fruit Juice Australia and a Director of The Australian Beverage Council.

Darryn is passionate about reinvigorating heritage brands, and developing strong customer relationships as well as building new brands, partnerships and teams, and is excited by the growth opportunities that lie ahead for Lion Dairy & Drinks business and its respective business partners.

 

 

Barry Irvin - Executive Chairman – Bega Cheese Limited & Deputy Chairman of CCFA Board

Chairman - Giant Steps (Sydney)
Director - Gardiner Foundation

Barry Irvin has extensive experience in the dairy industry and has been Chairman of Bega Cheese since 2000. Barry's leadership has seen Bega Cheese grow from a small regionally based dairy company to now one of the largest dairy companies in Australia, supplying a large range of dairy products in Australia and around the world.

Barry's depth of knowledge of the industry includes a significant understanding of the issues affecting Australian dairy farmers, the key investments required to meet changing consumer needs and the management of long term customer relationships.

Barry was awarded the NAB Agribusiness Leader of the Year in 2009 and the Rabobank Leadership Award for 2011.  Barry is very aware of the importance of social responsibility, he has been Chairman of Giant Steps, an organisation providing services to children and young adults with autism since 2002.  In 2008 Barry was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia for contributions to children with disability and the Australia dairy industry

 

 

 

Kathy Karabatsas - Managing Director, Lion Dairy & Drinks and CCFA Board Member

Kathy was appointed Managing Director Lion Dairy & Drinks in December 2017.

She joined the Lion (then National Foods) business in 2006 and since then has held a number of senior financial and operational planning roles and led complex change programs within the Lion Dairy & Drinks (LDD) business. In 2013, Kathy was appointed as Finance Director for the business, including accountability for agricultural procurement.  In 2016 she was also took on the role of Managing Director of Adjacent Business Units, being the Lion Speciality Cheese, Lion Dairy NZ and Vitasoy Australia businesses and in 2017 was appointed Managing Director for the Lion Dairy and Drinks business, for Australia, New Zealand and Asia.

Kathy is a strong people leader with an inclusive leadership style and has deep experience in strategy, commercial finance and integrated business planning. She has also led several key transformation projects including the introduction of an integrated LDD planning process, the relocation of the Business Solutions function, the sale of LDD’s everyday cheese business in 2015 and the minority acquisition of the Remedy Drinks business in 2018. 

Prior to joining Lion, Kathy worked in finance and strategy roles with large multinationals including BHP and ABB International.  Kathy has a passion for supporting the homeless and together with her husband she operated crisis accommodation facilities in Melbourne for 20 years.  In 2002, Kathy took a break from corporate life and managed the crisis accommodation facilities for three years, working together with local, state and federal government bodies to develop accommodation and drug rehabilitation programs for the homeless in Melbourne.

 

 

Colin Griffin - Chief Financial Officer & CCFA Board Member

Colin Griffin is a representative of Bega Cheese Limited in the Capitol Chilled Foods joint venture.  Colin Griffin played a key role in the establishment of Capitol Chilled Foods and has been a director since it was created in 1997.  Colin is the CFO of Bega Cheese and has led the finance function of that group since 1993.  Colin and his team are responsible for all management and statutory reporting, treasury and capital management, Information Technology, legal and ASX compliance and supporting the Executive Chairman and CEO in strategic planning, corporate activities and M&A.  Prior to joining Bega Cheese Colin worked with KPMG in Sydney in audit and advisory, focusing on M&A, valuations, independent expert reports, privatizations and other corporate advisory services.

 

 

Thisuni Ranasinghe – General Counsel, Lion Dairy & Drinks & CCFA Board Member

Thisuni is a highly experienced commercial lawyer, valued business partner and was appointed as General Counsel Lion Dairy & Drinks (LDD) Executive in January 2018. She is also a member of the Capital Chilled Foods (Australia) board. CCFA is a joint venture between Lion Dairy & Drinks and Bega Cheese.

Thisuni has a wealth of generalist legal experience gained from working in-house and also in private practice, government and the higher education sector.  Thisuni started her career as the Legal Associate to the President of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission (now the Fair Work Commission) and then worked in-house at Monash University. She then moved into private practice, advising major clients like Origin Energy, Boral, the State Government of Victoria and John Holland on all aspects of employment law and industrial relations.

Thisuni joined Lion in 2011 and has held several senior legal positions, supporting strategic initiatives in agricultural procurement, supply chain, logistics, marketing, sales, finance, HR, corporate and Lion’s dairy business in Asia. Thisuni prides herself on providing quality legal advice, which balances the commercial and strategic imperatives of her many stakeholders.

Thisuni is passionate about collaborative leadership, working cross functionally across Lion’s many operational divisions and driving commercially focused outcomes.