The Australian tertiary education sector has been hit hard by COVID. Most of our universities have strongly relied on international fee-paying students, who have not been able to return since early last year.

DeakinWith significant financial shortfalls, and short-term recovery not anticipated, the tertiary education sector is reportedly shedding around 20% of staff. Deakin laid off 300 last year and is now shedding a further 220.

Specialised courses with low participation face discontinuation. Deakin’s unique Graduate Certificate of Cemetery Practice program will be maintained for current students until early 2023, but new enrolments are not now being taken.

The likely duration of the current hiatus is unknown. However, increasing social awareness and higher service demands in all disciplines means our bereavement service sector must continue to professionalise. Though advancement has begun through specialised tertiary studies, it may now be some years before the cemetery program can resume.

Meanwhile, those interested in the program’s future are invited to contact course director Dr Philip Bachelor OAM at: Deakin University (philip,This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), or Box Hill Cemetery (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).