10 things SMCT employees wish everyone knew

31 January 2023
Staff enjoying food and conversation at out Staff HQ

If you’ve ever been after a good conversation starter, try ‘I work at a cemetery’. We are all naturally curious about the industry, how things work, and about the people behind the scenes – so what is it really like? We thought we’d quell some curiosity by sharing the top ten things SMCT employees have told us surprised them about working in the industry, or that they wish everyone knew about working at SMCT (Spoiler: it’s not what you might expect!).

1. It’s not the sad, grey place they portray in the movies

‘I think the cemeteries industry is misunderstood. It is not the doom and gloom that society may think a cemetery is.’ – Julie Miller

2. It’s an uplifting environment

'Prior to working here, my idea of a cemetery was all doom and gloom. However, in reality, it’s the opposite. The products, journeys, the services, the food, the locations and the people are all so lovely.’ – Praveen Mathew

3. Behind the gates is a vibrant, exciting workplace

‘Working for a cemeteries trust isn’t the morbid cliché that people might think it to be – I wish [people] knew how vibrant and caring our workplace culture is!’ – Ashleen Butters

4. It’s a place where diversity reigns

‘People probably don’t think of this when they think cemeteries, but I just love how interesting the industry is – I find it so amazing how people from different cultures and religions, and just different people in general, have such unique views towards death.’ – Vicki Ferguson

5. It’s a place for exploration, learning and connection

‘I wish people knew that cemeteries are not just spaces for mourning. They can be (and are) places for quiet reflection, passive recreation, historic discovery, citizen science, habitat havens (for flora and fauna) and so much more.’ – Helen Tuton

6. It’s bustling with activity

‘I want people to experience what I did the first time I came through the gates. The grounds are so full of life and there is so much more than you expect, such as beautiful gardens, a lovely café and bustling functions.’ – Paddy Kelly

7. The food (and the coffee!) is exceptional

‘I was shocked at how good the food is at SMCT. Whether it’s the baked goods in the café or the curries from HQ, all the food is so delicious and makes dieting very difficult. I have loved returning to the office and taking home a treat for dessert.’ – Helen Lai

8. It’s modern and innovative

‘I never thought that an organisation like SMCT would prioritise innovation and technology as much as they do. Everyone that works here is always asking, ‘how can we do this better?’ – Praveen Mathew

9. It’s collaborative and future-focused

‘I get to collaborate with almost every area of the organisation and explore other ways of enhancing and modernising our services. It's challenging, but it's exciting – we're not a monolith stuck in the past. We have an obligation to be caretakers for historical knowledge, records and infrastructure, but we aren’t beholden to doing things just because that's the way they have always been done.’ – Jake Corcoran

10. It’s a place where love is felt

‘Every person that comes to SMCT, does so as an expression of love. Love for a lost family member, love for friends, love for our gardens, our environment, our community. You can feel that in the air, it’s palpable and it’s beautiful. It’s in every rose, in every cup of coffee’. – Maria-Jose Sanchez

Back to Top