‘It takes a unique bunch of people to do what Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust (SMCT) does and I am proud to be working side by side with this bunch.’ Russell Pereira is one of our Customer Care Team Leaders here at SMCT, working out of Bunurong Memorial Park and Sorrento Community Cemetery.
It takes passionate and caring individuals like Russell to help shape and encourage our team as they support families navigating through difficult times on a daily basis.
Firstly, tell us a little bit about yourself and your role at SMCT.
I have been working as a Customer Care Team Leader at Bunurong Memorial Park (BMP) and Sorrento Community Cemetery (SCC) for one year now. My Team and I assist families at a time that I believe is crucial in their lives, supporting them as they navigate through the loss of a loved one and choose how they or their loved one want to be memorialised and remembered forever.
I am also involved in our site development, making sure that our communities are engaged so that we have a good understanding of what they need.
How did you find yourself working at SMCT?
I was taking a short break after a redundancy when I was asked if I would be interested in working at Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust (SMCT).
I submitted my resume as never in my dreams and having worked corporate all my life, did I think I will be working at a Cemetery. I was contacted a week later to see if I was interested in applying for a role at BMP and I took this as a sign, as my Father and Best Mate rest here. I am so grateful – one year on in my role and I already wish I had started here 10 years ago!
Did you have preconceived ideas of what working at a cemetery would be like? Has working at SMCT changed that?
Of course, one might think that it would be all dark and gloom as we are often dealing with people at a very vulnerable and sad stage of life. However, since working here I believe it’s a very well-structured and managed organisation and it’s not all dark and gloomy (and everyone is not dressed in all black every day). Everyone here plays their part to ensure we look after and care for our families in need. I’ve said this before … It takes a unique bunch of people to do what SMCT does and I am proud to be working side by side with this bunch.
What do you enjoy most about working at SMCT?
I love working closely with my teams at BMP and SCC. Every day they put their best foot forward and work with care, whether they’re booking a service, making a coffee, beautifying an area, digging a grave, working at the crematorium or escorting a service, they put our families first.
I also have so much respect for my team in the manner that they show genuine, love, care and respect while listening to heart-wrenching stories from families. It’s hard not to carry a bit of it when you walk out of here each day. But we make sure that laughter is a must and support each other no matter what.
Learn more about our team and what we do at Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust on our Linkedin page.