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Celebrating new beginnings: Spring reflections from our CEO, Jane Grover

27 September 2021
SMCT CEO Jane Grover

This reflection features as the introduction to the Spring/Summer edition of Life Magazine. Read the full edition here.

Spring is one of my favourite times of the year. It is the season of renewal and fresh beginnings, when flowers bloom, animals awaken, and the sunshine seems to provide new vigour and life to everything around us.

Over the last 18 months, disruption has been the new normal. Time and time again we have demonstrated courage in responding to every challenge and through the uncertainty; the solitude; the complexity; we have built a new resilience. Together, we have gained optimism, hope, connections and the certainty of a way forward.

During this season of rejuvenation, when our natural spaces continuously astound us, we find ourselves more committed than ever to the long-term sustainability of our environment. Spring brings us a reminder of the duty we have to preserve the magic of the lands we are so honoured to care for, not only in support of our vision of creating beautiful memorial parks to honour and celebrate life, but also in line with our vision to create legacy, permanence and wellbeing for the generations that will come after us.

This year, the impacts of our climate crisis have become more known, understood and critical than ever before. As a community, we know that the actions that we take today will impact what kind of tomorrow we will create for our children, for our grandchildren. With this in mind, we are undertaking an extensive review to identify how we can do our part to help and we are developing an Environmental Strategy aligned to the Victorian Government’s Climate Change Framework, which commits to a net zero target and climate resilience by 2050. Through this, we will seek to understand the broader scope of environmental sustainability and climate readiness as it applies to our spaces and our organisation.

Each of our sites presents us with varying challenges as well as an abundance of opportunities depending on their location, size, soil, age, heritage status and infrastructure. While reducing our emissions will be a significant focus in 2022, we will also highlight biodiversity as a way of enhancing and protecting our environment in the most natural way possible and explore alternatives across every touchpoint which offer eco-conscious options to our community.

So far, we have made exceptional progress on reducing our water consumption through our extensive water catchment program; we have seen a reduction of waste going to landfill by 2% through a number of projects; introduced chemical-free self-sustaining pest control methods; enhanced our horticulture practices and introduced more drought tolerant plant species to counter our changing environment and weather patterns; and we have continued to add solar panels across our sites to ensure we can create an energy-efficient environment that is as self-sustaining and gentle to our environment as possible.

Of course, this is just the beginning for us. We look forward to sharing more about our actions and initiatives in the coming months, as we continue to shape our Environmental Strategy. We are excited about what is to come and look forward to sharing our journey with you.

Wishing you all the best for spring and remember that during challenging times, we must focus to see the light. As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, ‘if life were predictable, it would cease to be life, and be without flavor.’

Jane Grover, CEO