Over recent years, Sally Kennedy has spent many hours visiting cemeteries all over Victoria and interstate. She’s not been taking photographs of gravestones or looking for distant relatives, but rather developing her unique business Dearly Plaques & Memorials. Years ago, Sally noticed that in most cemeteries there were new graves which had no form of identification for many months after a burial. Some had names written on pieces of cardboard. With the cost of a metal or stone plaque now being well above $500, she decided to develop a tasteful, high quality ‘interim’ form of powder-coated metal marker that could be placed on a grave for a period at a fraction of that cost.
“At first it was a battle convincing trustees of cemeteries that my product could serve a useful purpose both for the relatives of the deceased person and also for the cemetery,” she said.
“But once I had agreement from some larger cemeteries such as Brisbane’s Nudgee Cemetery and the Redlands City Council Cemetery also in Queensland, others started to come on board”.
Sally now has business arrangements with small and larger cemeteries across Victoria, in all other States and in New Zealand. Recently she has completed agreements with major cemeteries in Melbourne such as the Greater Melbourne Cemetery Trust (which includes the large Fawkner, Lilydale and Altona cemeteries) and the Box Hill Cemetery.
The Trustees of the Buninyong General Cemetery have also approved the use of her signage which may be left in place for up to twelve months after a burial. Sally’s ‘interim’ signs may be ordered through funeral directors at the time of making arrangements for a funeral.
She uses local Ballarat firms to do the metalwork, design and powder-coating of her signs. Before developing her current business, Sally’s background was in Sales & Marketing. She has worked for groups such as Committee for Ballarat, Premier PR and VicWest Community Telco.
Up until recently, she was the Advertising Manager for the Ballarat Lifestyle Magazine produced in Buninyong by Lucy Coxall’s Roar Publishing.
With a hectic work life Sally has also been studying for an MBA at Federation University. Sally and her three children Sophie 9, Zac 13, and Ethan 15 live at Mt Doran. She has involved the children in the business to “show them what might happen if they follow their dreams.”