The CCANSW long delayed conference and trade exhibition was finally held during the last week of May 2021 at the Crowne Plaza, Coogee Beach, with delegates and exhibitors from across New South Wales and beyond in attendance. It was a much anticipated opportunity to network with fellow cemeterians and participate in some interesting discussions about topics of interest to all.
Highlights included presentation by Estelle Muspratt of Office of Australian Wargraves on their work including the history of OAWG and the eligibility requirements for veterans receiving an official monument. A photograph of a particularly poignant epitaph taken overseas "Will some kind hand place a flower on my son's grave" brought tears to the eyes to the entire audience.
The aptly named "DeathTech" team presenter - Dr Hannah Gould - presented an eye-opening seminar on emerging technologies to commemorate the dead in Asia and how they are also driving cultural changes in the ways that people interact with cemeteries and other memorial places. Again another member of the Death Teach team - Dr Bjorn Nansen presented his research on future cemeteries including future disposition methods and community interest and use of digital technologies.
Landscape Architect Florence Jaquet raised the bar on sustainability, demonstrating her commitment to the "Climate positive" movement - pursuing cemetery design that contributes not only to the reduction but overall removal of carbon from the cemetery environment. Later presentations by Gary Graham reiterated the importance of environmental management in pursuing best practice in air quality management and monitoring in the crematoria space - with the advice that more stringent regulation of this area is on the way.
CCNSW was also represented by CEO Jennifer Hickey and Director of Regulatory Reform and Policy Fiona Lansdown, presenting a brief overview of their move towards taking an increased regulatory stance and driving further reform in the industry. Hopefully more to come on this issue with a lot of discussion of the "One Crown" announcement and what it will mean for those operators affected as well as the wider industry in NSW going forward.
Tara McKay, Embalmer and Regioonl Coordinator - Australasia for Kenyon Australasia provided a surprisingly humorous overview of the origins of Mausolea and sarcophagii and discussed some of the challenges she has faced in her important work - both as an embalmer repairing the damaged or diseased or in her role with Kenyon International responding to disasters across the globe. Tara's passion to assist people suffering from traumatic loss was evident.
For those interested in extending their cemetery qualifications, Dr Phillip Bachelor presented an overview of the Graduate Studies in Cemetery Practice offered at Deakin University with a number of testimonials from Chair of the course Advisory Board, Russ Allison, and current students. This qualification is an important step towards professional recognition and is a testament to the persistence of Dr Bachelor in developing this course to provide tertiary training for future industry leaders.
The CEO's panel featuring the an inspirational overview of the current and future challenges facing some of our largest cemetery trusts including focus on environmental sustainability, how to attract and retain the right people and facilitate community engagement with the combined expertise of Deb Ganderton from Greater Metropolitan Cemeteries Board, Jane Grover from Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust, Annie De Jong of Ballarat Cemeteries and Robert Pitt (Adelaide Cemeteries Authority), chaired by Dr Isabelle Meyer (Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries NSW).
Our Generous Sponsors
Major Sponsors Arrow Bronze, Everlon and Phoenix Foundry (please embed/insert links to their websites) helped to keep delegates fed and watered, providing two delicious dinner events at local venues Coogee Bay Hotel and Barzura opposite the beautiful Coogee Beach. Sponsors also provided short talks on some interesting topics including a fond farewell to the late Charlie Rudd , one of the original founders of Phoenix foundry with a career spanning over 40 years. For those of you who forgot to pick up a brochure or were unable to attend, a full list of our major, general and supporting sponsors and trade exhibitors appears here.