Case Study

DON knows the value of people to their business. When you put people at the core of what you do, everything else comes naturally. Of the 1,500 people that DON employ, 1100 are frontline factory roles. DON wants to change perceptions of factory jobs and encourage people to consider long term, fulfilling careers in the industry.

Providing jobs in their community of central Victoria, is taken seriously by DON. The 250 people they employee each year undergo extensive training. DON sees this as an investment in their employees’ careers and to their business. 300 staff are trained to the nationally recognised accreditation of Certificate III or Certificate IV each year. With such great talent within their own business, DON looks internally to promote. In addition to this, in the last twelve months DON issued over 30,000 “badges” for internal short training courses to keep their people all up to date with their skills. Providing career pathways for their employees is part of the reason why DON has such low staff turnover for their industry.

Staff Profile – Zara

Zara is one of 1100 employees who works at the DON Smallgoods factory in Castlemaine, Victoria. For Zara working at DON is more than a job, it’s a career.

Starting as a factory line worker, Zara worked her way to an Area Manager role, where she is responsible for bacon production at the factory. During her time with the business Zara has not only grown her career and skills in food manufacturing, she has also raised a family utilising DON’s flexible working arrangement. Zara is proud of what she has achieved during her time at Castlemaine and has won a number of awards for outstanding work with DON Smallgoods.

Her dedication and commitment has seen Zara progress through a number of areas of the factory, including production and planning, among others, as her career continues to grow and she plans for further growth in the industry.

Zara also enjoys the opportunity to give back to her community. As part of the DON’s “Caring Everyday” program, Zara has volunteered for the Salvation Army, providing assistance to the most vulnerable in her local community.

“Food manufacturing is a vital industry in regional Victoria. DON employs 1,500 people in Victoria, 1,300 in Castlemaine of which over 1,100 are front line workers. Food manufacturers employing people in our region is a big part of why centres like Castlemaine are thriving communities.”  Will Ursell, Managing Director



Employment: 1,500 people, 1100 are frontline factory workers

Product: Over 70,000,000 kg of product each year

Product: We produce enough hotdogs, kabana and sausages a year to stretch around the world twice if all laid end to end

Community: Provides over 115,000 kg of product to through community programs annually

Economy: Contributes over $300 million into the Victorian economy each year


… Back


The food & grocery industry affects every one of us, every day of our lives.

Join the community to stay informed and have your say.