Governance

The Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust (SMCT) recognises that strong governance and accountability are the cornerstones of effective and efficient management. This is reflected in its Corporate Governance Framework (see Publications).

SMCT is a not-for-profit organisation, providing burial, cremation and memorialisation services for metropolitan Melbourne and Victoria. The Trust is responsible to the Minister for Health & Ageing. We understand our responsibility to the community in relation to the management of the locations within our care.

Responsibilities

SMCT is a Class A cemetery trust established under the Cemeteries and Crematoria Act 2003.

The Trust has responsibilities for:

  • current operations of eight cemetery locations
  • ensuring that funds are set aside and preserved for the future perpetual maintenance of our cemeteries
  • consulting and engaging with the community.

Risk management

An effective risk management programme ensures that SMCT embraces and meets its regulatory obligations.

SMCT has risk management processes in place that are consistent with the Australian/New Zealand Risk Management Standard and an internal control system is also in place to enable the Executive to understand, manage and satisfactorily control risk exposures.

The Trust employs a full-time Risk and Compliance Manager to encourage identification of risks and to monitor, review and implement mitigation strategies.

Trust committees

In order to execute Trust responsibilities to the highest standard of corporate governance, the following committees have been established:

  • Audit and Risk Committee
  • Finance and Investment Committee
  • Community Advisory Committee
  • Infrastructure and Planning Committee
  • Executive Remuneration and Appointment Committee

Each committee has a charter and self-evaluates its performance annually.

Cemetery preservation

SMCT is a not-for-profit organisation, responsible for the ongoing maintenance and care of the grounds and facilities of eight cemetery locations in perpetuity. These grounds comprise a total of 379 hectares (945 acres).

To ensure there are sufficient resources for long-term maintenance, a percentage of revenue is allocated to a Preservation Fund, which is invested conservatively.

The Trust takes very seriously its obligation to balance the drive for ongoing viability with the need to provide products and services to meet the diverse needs of the multicultural communities that we serve.

The Trust is not responsible for the maintenance of plaques and monuments as these are the responsibility of family members. We are only entitled to remove a plaque or monument if it presents a risk or danger.

For protection guidance, please see our "Taking care of historically significant monuments" document, available on our Publications page.

Gifts, Benefits & Hospitality Register

As public officials, all SMCT employees, including Trust members, have an obligation to maintain the highest standards of integrity and impartiality when performing their jobs.  The way we respond to offers of gifts, benefits and hospitality is critical to earning and sustaining the trust of the Victorian community which we serve.

SMCT maintains a Gifts, Benefits & Hospitality Policy which sets out the standards all employees must follow to avoid conflicts of interest and to maintain high levels of integrity and public trust, and articulates how SMCT will meet the Victorian Public Sector Commissioner’s minimum accountabilities for managing gifts, benefits and hospitality.

The SMCT Gifts, Benefits & Hospitality Register is available here.