Providing Families with Transparency, Care and Support
19 September 2019
The below information is provided to assist the Victorian Community with queries that may arise from the Four Corners report “After Death”, ABC, Monday 23rd September.
We believe that every person, regardless of their religion, culture or personal preference should be able to honour and celebrate their loved one as they choose. As a community-focused, not-for-profit organisation, this is our purpose and promise to the diverse client families we serve every day.
Operating within Victoria, Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust (SMCT) and its board of trust report to the Minister for Health, through the Cemetery Sector Governance Support Unit of the Department of Health (DH). Unlike many other states in Australia, Victorian crematoriums are part of the public sector (not privatised like in NSW) and are required to comply with the Cemeteries and Crematoria Act 2003. These regulations help to protect Victorians with transparent costs along with the long-term safe handling of historical records relating to their loved ones (In Victoria, private companies cannot run crematoriums, which can only be operated by state government trusts and charge fixed price).
Safe Handling of Records for Future Generations
When planning a funeral, the handling of cremation records isn't something that is top of mind for families who are coming to terms with their new reality. However, the location of the cremation could result in very different record management practices due to the difference in state legislation (over the border cremations); leading to inaccurate or inaccessible records over time and preventing future generations from journeying back into your remembrance.
Services Anchored in Compassion
SMCT working with the DH has two Victorian crematoriums (Springvale and Bunurong) each providing client families with transparent cremation services anchored in compassion. Both crematoriums are regularly audited to ensure the safe handling of records and every effort is made to honour family wishes. Both locations offer cremation viewing rooms that allow families to support one another in their grief and acknowledge the reality of the death while saying final goodbyes.
Catering to over one-third of burials and half of cremations across Victoria annually, we are committed to working with the DH to provide families with transparency, care and support. If you would like any more information relating to our cremation or other services, please contact our customer care team on (03) 8558 8278.