On behalf of Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust, we would like to say a sincere thank you and acknowledge Ms Sue Renkin, our retiring Trust Chairman.
Over the past nine years, Sue has led with unwavering leadership, foresight, direction and guidance as Chairman to our Trust. She has enabled the transformation of SMCT into an innovative and progressive organisation for the living, supporting the Victorian community to live and grieve well.
Sue has been instrumental in challenging the sector norms to help SMCT create modern facilities and services that embrace everyday life and encourage community connection. Contemporary spaces such as the Clarence Reardon Centre (Springvale Botanical Cemetery) and the award-winning Bunurong Memorial Park are testaments to this vision. Each development introduced an onsite cafe and florist shop as an active role in shifting community perception towards cemeteries as places for the living.
The introduction of extended in-house catering and hospitality services has been a turning point for the organisation and a key contributor to our ongoing revenue over the last five years. Sue's dedication and support to these diversified services have helped SMCT to create unique and inspiring menus for our culturally diverse customers. Often the smallest gestures and details have the most significant impact on our customers, and this is something that Sue regularly demonstrated and was admired for.
Sue was a regular participant at the many SMCT remembrance and community events over her tenure. Her compassion and support helped her connect with customers to uncover the changing landscape and the future needs of the Victorian community. The establishment of the Centre for Care & Wellbeing (CCW) was a response to community need, helping those who are navigating grief. The Centre provides care and companionship in a welcoming community sanctuary, together with educational sessions, meditation, light yoga, stretch and art therapy.
“During her time as chair, Sue has shaped SMCT into being the progressive and community-focused organisation that we are today. We greatly appreciate her leadership and wish her every success for the future.”
– Jane Grover CEO