We were delighted to celebrate the official opening ceremony for our new Centre for Care & Wellbeing at Springvale Botanical Cemetery on Wednesday 11 March 2020.
Our new purpose-built space allows us to continue redefining the role that cemeteries play in meeting the evolving needs of the Victorian community, by providing a healing sanctuary to those experiencing loss. The opening ceremony commenced with a welcome to country delivered by elder Andrew Gardiner, followed by Vanda Fortunato; SMCT Chairperson, Jane Grover; SMCT CEO and Dr Tien Kieu - Member for South Eastern Metropolitan Region, who officially opened this beautiful community space on behalf of The Hon Jenny Mikakos MP, Minister for Health.
Following the ceremony, guests were encouraged to join us for a special ten-year anniversary celebration the Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust, first established in March 2010. Our wonderful team at Café Vita et flores hosted a delicious morning tea spread, accompanied by a live jazz band and a special interactive piece of artwork that encapsulates the community and heart of our organisation.
The day and the year of 2020 marks a milestone in our journey, as we take a step-change in repositioning the role that 21st-century cemeteries play in servicing our communities.
Over these last ten years, SMCT has challenged the thinking of the role that cemeteries should play. Our organisational philosophy is that cemeteries are not only places to memorialise loved ones but become places of connection, healing and support the living.
We look forward to achieving this by continuing to work closely with our communities, through listening to what they have to say, staying curious and innovative.