Temporary Memorials

Temporary Memorials

Establishing a permanent memorial can be a lengthy process; there are many things to consider in honouring and celebrating the life of a loved one.

As you take the time to consider your options, you are welcome to arrange a temporary memorial for a maximum of 12 months.

Temporary Memorial Guidelines

After 12 months, temporary memorials will need to be removed by the family or at the discretion of the Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust (SMCT). Sentimental and valuable items are discouraged; any items placed are at the owner's discretion.

SMCT will not be liable for any damage, loss, or missing items. For the safety of our visitors, the community, and staff, the temporary memorial must adhere to the requirements and standards of SMCT. Please take the time to review the Temporary Memorial Guidelines below to help you make sure the temporary memorial meets the requirements of the area.

Guidelines for placement

A Temporary Memorial may be established after the burial of a loved one’s ashes or ceremony, and must be placed within the Right of Interment.

  • For graves with foundations (monumental), this area will be marked with aluminium rivets.
  • For graves without foundations, this will be marked with timber pegs.
  • For other types of graves, temporary memorials must be placed at the head of the grave.

Temporary memorials must also:

  • Be maintained in a safe and orderly manner,
  • Be able to be moved by two people without mechanical assistance, and
  • Remain in place for no longer than 12 months from the date of your loved one's burial.

Items left for more than 12 months or that are considered not to have followed these guidelines may be removed by SMCT without notification and discretely disposed of. All items are left at the owner's risk.

Please refer to our Floral and Memento Guidelines for assistance with understanding the type of flowers that can be used.

Hazardous items

SMCT may need to complete work in the vicinity of a grave or cremation memorial. In these instances, we may need to remove and replace items at our discretion.

SMCT will remove items that may be considered dangerous. A list of these items is found below.

Items that may be considered dangerous

SMCT will remove items that may be considered dangerous, such as, but not limited to:

  • Items over 300mm in height
  • Items placed on a reserved or neighbouring grave
  • Lanterns
  • Metal items
  • Any items placed in the pathways
  • Unauthorised planting
  • Broken and disintegrated items
  • Items with hooks, spikes, or sharp edges
  • Glass or breakable items
  • Pebbles, stones, stone slabs, pavers, tiles, bricks, or any other form of building material
  • Unauthorised temporary memorial items fixed to foundations
  • Items left longer than 12 months or that are considered hazardous risk

Maintenance works

SMCT administers nine cemeteries in the southern corridor of Victoria.

As we continue to develop areas to meet the community's demands and ensure perpetual maintenance, we may be required to conduct necessary works in your loved one’s area.

We will take the necessary steps to advise the last known Holder of Right of Interment of these works.

Permanent Memorials

All permanent memorials will require a permit; your preferred stonemason can arrange this.

SMCT must review applications to ensure they meet the safety standards and dimensions needed for the area. Once the application is assessed, your chosen stonemason will be informed of the outcome and next steps.

Find a monumental mason

Some headstone and monumental positions will require the assistance of a qualified monumental stonemason. You can download a list of masons who have registered to work on our sites here.

Download monumental mason list (PDF)
Angel monument in cemetery

Contact us

Contact our Customer Support Team for more information about temporary memorials, permanent memorials, or to update the Holder of Right of Interment.

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