SMCT Leadership Award winner: John Marra

09 September 2022
SMCT Leadership Award winner: John Marra

What's your role at SMCT?

I am part of the fantastic funeral services team based at Springvale Botanical Cemetery and occasionally assisting Bunurong Memorial Park. We look after all audio and visual requirements in the chapels for both families and funeral directors – our goal is to ensure that their experience in the chapel celebrating their loved one is the best they can have during what can be the most difficult time of their lives. We also coordinate hearse escorts to the chapels and burial sites and conduct the Honouring Life Services for families.

You were the recipient of the Leadership award, recognising the strong and integral leadership and mentorship that you have displayed. Can you tell us about what being a leader means to you?

There are a few important things that go into being a leader to me. The first is mentoring all employees as much as possible, teaching them and being the best role model that I can be for our team while leading by example. This entails demonstrating a high work ethic and taking responsibility and ownership of all that I do. I also take pride in being a great communicator and listener, being approachable and open minded for my team to confide in.

What is one project / team activity that you have enjoyed being a part of over the last 12 months?

The project that I have really loved being a part of over the last 12 months was coming over to Springvale Botanical Cemetery from Bunurong Memorial Park and training a new and wonderful team. The team is a truly a rich asset to our organisation and I have enjoyed my time teaching and building relationships with them immensely.

Your one wish for the next 12 months is...

My wish for the next 12 months is that the audio and visual upgrades of the chapels resolve issues that have impacted us in the past. The upgrade will allow us to provide the best possible experience to our wonderful customers and funeral directors, which is the main goal that we are constantly striving to achieve.

What's something you wish everyone knew about working at SMCT or within in the cemeteries industry?

I wish people understood the closeness with which we all work. We are not just work colleagues, but one big family which includes not only our SMCT employees but the funeral directors and external consultants as well. Many organisations may strive to achieve this, but the meaning and importance of our work and the care that each department puts into it really brings us together as one in a way unique to SMCT.

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