Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust announces new CEO

08 September 2022

The Chairperson of Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust (SMCT), Dr Vanda Fortunato, has announced Laz Cotsios as the organisation’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Announcing the appointment, Vanda said, ‘Laz couldn’t be joining us at a better time. In 2023, the organisation will be implementing the final year of the actions it set under its four year Strategic Plan in 2019.

Laz will lead development of SMCT’s next Strategic Plan and oversee the major projects on our agenda, including planning for a new memorial park in South East Melbourne.

Laz has vast experience at very senior levels in both the Federal and State governments and in the commercial world. His track-record is transforming businesses and improving growth and very importantly for us understanding and servicing customers better.

Laz says over his entire career he has been driven by motivating his teams, driving efficiencies while not compromising on the quality of the customer experience.

‘My approach has always been to listen to my customers, my team, my stakeholders. There is an opportunity at SMCT to look at how we can embrace the digital innovations available and also to look at the broader needs of customers as awareness on sustainable ways for burials emerge,’ Laz said.

Laz has held senior executive roles at Medibank Australia, UBS, Westpac, Australia Post and South Australia Housing Authority. Most recently Laz has been the Chief Operating Officer at Aruma, one of the largest disability support service providers in Australia.

‘The Board and the whole organisation is really excited to have Laz joining as our CEO. He will take up the role on 17 October 2022,’ Vanda said.

About SMCT

SMCT is a purposed organisation accountable to the Minister for Health and responsible for the care and maintenance of nine distinctive cemetery locations dedicated to honouring and celebrating life:

• Brighton General Cemetery • Bunurong Memorial Park • Cheltenham Memorial Park • Cheltenham Pioneer Cemetery • Dandenong Community Cemetery • Melbourne General Cemetery • Springvale Botanical Cemetery • Sorrento Public Cemetery • St Kilda Cemetery

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