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After death and home funeral practice

The area of after death and home funeral practice is evolving rapidly in Melbourne and elsewhere. Instead of thinking about the services you need when a person is dying and after they die as quite separate, they can be connected up, from palliative support to burial or cremation. In Australia, education and advocacy on death […]

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Cremation and burial options

Here in Melbourne, the state government’s Department of Health is responsible for cremation and burial, and you can find an overview here. There are regulations about burial as well. Practically speaking, cremation and burial are handled by two large cemetery trusts, Greater Metropolitan Cemetery Trust (GMCT) and Southern Metropolitan Cemetery Trust (SMCT), and also some […]

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Future cemetery

In my role on the Greater Metropolitan Cemetery Trust community advisory committee, I now hear the term ‘future cemetery’ used quite frequently. Until recently they relied on the tried and true patterns or ideas about what a cemetery is. Right now, there are now many reasons to refresh that model: [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left […]

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Sustainable coffin case study at the Sustainable Living Festival

The Funeral event in the 2015 Sustainable Living Festival (SLF). Can I say it was like a party? You don’t know who’s going to make it. Low grade anxiety. It’s a hot night. You’ve done your best with watermelon and snacks and cold bubbly water. The venue host (Jay of Nest Co-Working) helps out. Maybe […]

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Vigils: coming together after death

In this post I use the word vigil, but not in a religious sense. I’ve made vigil the topic for the Sustainable Funeral event at this year’s Sustainable Living Festival (SLF) event. I think of a vigil as a continuous, intimate thread of care. Some want to hold that thread all through their loved one’s […]

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Forums at Woodford Folk Festival

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_text]People do want to attend forums on funerals at festivals, and think creatively about death and dying. Kathy McCormick (Art of Dying), Victoria Spence (Life Rites, Sydney) and Priscilla Maxwell (Karuna Hospice […]

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‘The Fault in Our Stars’, a conversation

My friend Ron and I first met over our interests in public deliberation and decision making, and it was unexpected when he asked me something very personal – whether I’d be willing to be his funeral celebrant. He is living with prostrate cancer. Ron’s doing fine at the moment, but of course death and dying […]

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Memorials in favourite places

I recently spent time at Brunswick Heads, a little NSW town with beachside streets, and a wonderful breakwater. Bruns for short. Bruns is a place people are fond of. and you see that in memorials placed at ground and eye level. A few memorials At the gate of the school, this reminder of ‘a friend […]

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Kids talk death and funerals – Wheeler Centre event

The Wheeler Centre does great events. Think about inviting a panel of kids, primary to Year 12, from St Martins Youth Arts to address adults about death. It was a bit like a Death Cafe with an audience. What did I learn from the panel’s exchange with Natasha Mitchell of ABC’s ‘All in the Mind’? […]

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Life expectancy, income poverty and funeral options

Thirty years’ ago Australians’ life expectancy grew substantially. This post looks at the implications for funeral options. Thirty years’ ago public health initiatives had cut down infant mortality. TAC style campaigns reduced teenage drunk driving and accidents. Today it’s hard for experts to say that life expectancy will stop growing. At the same time, if […]

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