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The CCANSW invites your 2021 Rising Star Nominations!

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Calling all CCANSW Members…….do you have someone who goes the extra mile? Nominate them now for industry excellence, improvement, dedication or knowledge sharing under the Rising Star Award.
Acknowledgement brings its own rewards but the Rising Star Award 2020 recipient also has the opportunity to spend a fully funded five days at another cemetery or crematoria within NSW or Australia exchanging ideas and learning new skills.

CCANSW Conference attendance is also included where they can expand their network and share their Rising Star experiences.
Nominations are now open and close on 31 March 2021.

Don’t miss this opportunity to recognise that quiet achiever or bright spark in your organisation. 




Rising Star Logo

The CCANSW Rising Star Award acknowledges industry excellence, improvement, dedication and knowledge sharing.

CCANSW provides sponsorship for a member’s representative to attend work experience at another cemetery or crematoria in NSW (or Australia) and also to attend a CCANSW Conference.




Rising Star Award Testimonials

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Nicole Winram, 2019 Award Recipient:

As the 2019 Rising Star Award recipient, I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to visit and gain skills from industry experts across our diverse sector. My knowledge has been broadened and networks expanded through the time shared at Shoalhaven Bereavement Services and Rookwood General Cemeteries Reserve Land Manager.nicole winram

As I was relatively new to the sector, and on a steep learning curve, so having the chance to shadow experts, ask question, learn by their side and be presented with detailed explanations was of incredible value.

Such an experience couldn’t truly be measured until I returned to my roll at Blacktown City Council and started sharing the knowledge gained with management, peers and customers.

Presentation of the experience at the CCANSW Conference in Orange helped to further build skills, strengthen bonds and reinforced my gratitude to CCANSW for making this opportunity available.

I would encourage employers to nominate staff who show an interest or passion for work within the Cemetery Management sector for the Rising Star Award.


Nicole Winram
Property Services
Blacktown City Council

Christie Flippence, 2016 Award Recipient:

”I was one of the recipients of the 2016 Rising Star Award and was able to spend a week with the Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust in Melbourne. christie flippence

While there I was based with the Customer & Industry Intelligence Team, more specifically the Community Engagement section at Springvale.  I was able to not only visit the majority of their facilities but spent time with team members sharing ideas and learning how they operate.  The staff were very open, sharing their knowledge and skills.

It was a very steep learning curve coming from a small Council operation to something so large.  I learnt however that operational basics remained the same and many of the things I learnt can be applied to my circumstance – starting community engagement, cemetery history as a marketing tool, planning denominational areas and how to cater for these communities, presentation of customer information, the importance of customer feedback and general cemetery planning ideas.

The Rising Star Award provides a rare opportunity to be able to gain insight and access to another facility and further build industry relationships and networks. I cannot more highly recommend the experience.”

Christie Flippence
Cemeteries Bereavement Officer
Central Coast Council

 Dean Skinner, 2018 Award Recipient

really enjoyed the rising star experience as it allowed myself to gain experience and knowledge of how other cemetery operator’s work.

The rising star trip away gave me a week with mainly Adelaide Cemetery Authority and a day with Centennial Park Cemetery. It was great to have a detailed look at their safety systems, their machinery, their processes and speak directly with the operations staff and managers.

Attending the conference was really enjoyable also, to hear from the industry experts and to be able to talk to others in the same field was a great learning experience.

Thanks again for the amazing experience and I would encourage others to apply as it is very beneficial

Dean Skinner
WHS Coordinator
Rookwood General Cemeteries

John Pearce, 2014 Award Recipient:

"In 2014 I was nominated for and jointly won the CCANSW Industry improvement award with Paul Wilson from Wagga Wagga City Council.

 As part of our award, we spent five days in Sydney, where we visited four very diverse cemeteries and at each location we were met by enthusiastic hosts ranging from the grave diggers to the CEO's.

 The exchange of idea's flowed and we were able to compare our own organisations strengths and weaknesses to see how we could improve by using new methods, equipment and services. To cap off an amazing week in Sydney we also attended the CCANSW conference in Albury which was another first class event.

 I would strongly recommend nominating enthusiastic industry colleagues for this award, it's an excellent hands on learning and networking experience."

 John Pearce, Coffs Harbour City Council.

Kirra Williams, 2017 Award Recipient

"My time at Rookwood General Cemetery and Shoalhaven Bereavement Services was a fantastic educational experience. I was educated on alternative ways to accomplish common goals and have strengthened my skills in cemetery management as a result of this initiative.

Kirra Williams Custom

I feel as though I walked out of each facility with a greater knowledge and perception of the interment industry and have already implemented some new processes as a result of my visit. I would encourage all CCANSW members to consider nominating ambitious individuals within their organisations for this award."


Kirra Williams | Project Assistant
Facilities and Recreation | Infrastructure
Newcastle City Council

 Charmaine Schembri, 2016 Award Recipient

“When I was granted the privilege of the Rising Star Award, it gave me the opportunity to take a closer look at the importance of my role and think about what my organisation might be doing well and where some areas for improvement might lie.


I would encourage others to nominate their staff or apply themselves for the Rising Star Award as it is a very worthwhile experience. There is immense benefit in being able to observe another organisation’s best practice and discuss ideas on procedures, daily operations and values.

While many cemeteries throughout NSW conduct the same or similar services it is our interaction with families that defines success.  The key aspect to a great business is our staff and through training and opportunities like this we are able to meet and exceed customer expectations.”

Charmaine Schembri
Bereavement Services Officer
Shoalhaven City Council



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