Guest Post: Top 10 Tips for Planning a Funeral

    Here's a guest post by Tom Reynolds, a co-owner of Memorials of Distinction with 10 tips when planning a funeral. It's an interesting read with some good points. Normally I don't look at how to organise or plan a funeral from a family/mourners/deceased perspective. But a lot of people want this and find it helpful, plus it's great to get a more diverse perspective on the blog.

Arranging a funeral can be a stressful time in a persons' life especially if it needs to be done unexpectedly. Although many people try to put off making plans for when they or a loved one passes away, there's a lot to be said to having things in place just in case. However, it's human nature to avoid thinking about it, but if you do make plans, it will make things that much easier at a difficult time when you have lost a loved one. Below are 10 tips for planning a funeral.


The TAFE Mortuary Sciences Course

    Recently someone sent me this link, it's the information for the 'Mortuary Theatre Practices' at TAFE. It looks like an interesting course, and while not essential for the funeral industry it could certainly be useful or at least informative.

    For more information follow the link below:



Mortuary Station Graffiti

    I was on the train a while ago and noticed some graffiti on the poster memorialising Australia's first female architect, Florence Mary Taylor.

    Mortuary station itself is covered in graffiti, so it's interesting that this poster/memorial lasted so long without any graffiti considering the area.



Picnic Reminder & Update

Rookwood Picnic:
    Just a quick reminder, there is a picnic at Rookwood this Sunday 18th. We will be meeting at 12 for a relaxed and friendly little gathering. Anyone interested is welcome. For more information (including how to get there and what to bring) follow the link below:

Thesis Update:
    Right now is a very busy time in terms of the thesis work, so blog content will slow down and be sporadic for a while. But don't worry, it will be over soon as the thesis deadline is in November. I'm not sure if that is a good thing yet, but at least it will be finished soon and not drag on.

   The thesis research is going along well, right now I'm collecting data (such as interviews) and writing several chapters. There is a LOT more work to be done, another 15,000 words or more, but it is coming along nicely. By the end of this month I should have my methodology chapter essentially finished and considerable amounts of both the background and methods chapters completed.

    A few funeral homes have been very supportive and so importantly helpful in gathering data. The individual funeral staff interviews and the field observation of companies have been informative. Also, the Funeral Celebrants Association has been REALLY helpful and wonderful. Many members have been so happy to participate in interviews.

    This study is only possible due to the great support of various people and organisations. So thank you to all those who have participated in any capacity!



Honours Surveys !

Surveys are now CLOSED and interviews are no longer being conducted, thank you to those who participated!

HREA Panel B approval no. 13 031

    In addition to the interviews and fieldwork I will be conducting two short surveys as part of my honours thesis.  Each surveys should take 10 minutes or less, and all answers will be kept anonymous. Your participation will be greatly appreciated and will really help my study!! :)

The Public Survey:
    This survey is open to anyone from the general public and has never worked in the funeral industry. Answer honestly and do not worry about a 'right' or 'good' answer.

The Funeral Staff Survey:
    This survey is open to anyone who has worked in the funeral industry in some capacity. Such as a funeral director, mortician, gravedigger, celebrant, etc. Answer honestly and do not worry about a 'right' or 'good' answer.

    Feel free to share the surveys with anyone who might be interested. You are also welcome to participate in interviews, follow the link below for more information:

All participation in this project is appreciated, if there's any further questions or comments feel free to email me via theothersideoffunerals@gmail.com.

    This project is part of honours in anthropology at the University of New South Wales and has received ethics approval (approval no. 13 031) from HREA Panel B at UNSW. If there are any questions or issues you can contact me via theothersideoffunerals@gmail.com or my supervisor Dr Amanda Kearney at the University of New South Wales.


Event: Rookwood Picnic!

Elephant House
    It's about time for another Rookwood picnic, this is a casual gathering of people who share an interest in the funeral industry. If is open to anyone, although these events are usually quite small (and friendly).

    This will be a small and relaxed picnic, we might even go for a walk through Serpentine Canal or explore some old areas of Rookwood.