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Bunurong Memorial Park - Official Opening

Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust (SMCT) were delighted to host over 200 guests across government, industry and community for the official opening of the Southern Aurora Centre at Bunurong Memorial Park on Sunday 17 April 2016.

Bunurong Memorial Park - Official Opening - Daniel Andrews - Jill Hennessy Bunurong Memorial Park - Official Opening - Daniel Andrews - Jill Hennessy Bunurong Memorial Park - Official Opening - Daniel Andrews - Jill Hennessy Bunurong Memorial Park - Official Opening - Daniel Andrews - Jill Hennessy Bunurong Memorial Park - Official Opening - Daniel Andrews - Jill Hennessy Bunurong Memorial Park - Official Opening - Daniel Andrews - Jill Hennessy Bunurong Memorial Park - Official Opening - Daniel Andrews - Jill Hennessy 8 Bunurong Memorial Park - Official Opening - Daniel Andrews - Jill Hennessy

The official ceremony commenced with a smoking ceremony and Welcome to Country from the Crossing at Lake Australis.

The Hon. Daniel Andrews MP, Premier and the Hon Jill Hennessy MP, Minister for Health, joined SMCT Chairman Sue Renkin and CEO Jane Grover for the official ceremony.

Addressing the audience in the Cumulus Stratus Reflection Spaces, the Premier gave a resounding endorsement of SMCT’s visionary development of Bunurong Memorial Park.

"It’s the best of everything in every way. Responding to multiculturalism, responding to diversity, a modern picturesque and beautiful space, but one that is made all the better by the love, the care and respect that is shown to everybody who turns to this place… I think with facilities like this, I think with the culture that exists right across the Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust - we measure well… I know this facility will be of care and comfort of love and support in the celebration of so many lives for many, many years to come.

- The Hon. Daniel Andrews MP, Premier of Victoria.

Trust Chairman Sue Renkin outlined the philosophy behind this transformative development. "I know Bunurong represents a change in the way places like this function and I make no apology for that change, it is deliberate and it is part of a wider change we are trying to encourage… death is something we are all going to confront and we believe that if we plan to die well – we might also live well in the meantime."

This suite of world class multipurpose community facilities and Australian native parkland represents the realisation of SMCT’s vision to transform cemeteries and memorial parks into vibrant, active community spaces. BMP is already a destination for thousands of Victorians across cultural and faith communities, young and old alike.

In her address, Minister Hennessy observed that, "… dealing with the pain of grief and loss is a very difficult thing to do, but to do so in a place that has a culture of acceptance and warmth and compassion, and acknowledgement of a person’s life, acknowledgement of their culture, acknowledgement of their spirit, and acknowledgement of the pain of those that are left behind -  that is really spectacular contribution that all of those involved in this project have made to the local community."

The unique facilities and services at BMP provide comfort and support for families during the period of loss, and a welcoming sense of place to return to. Customer care is at the heart of everything we do at SMCT, and BMP is a natural extension of the SMCT service offering. We believe that through its thoughtful design, BMP will play a key role in reversing the trend away from memorialisation and increasing visitation.

CEO Jane Grover shared her reflections on BMP and SMCT’s commitment to ensuring that everyone is able to honour and celebrate life in the way that they choose. "First and foremost, we are here to serve the Victorian public in times that can be both difficult and uplifting… death ends a life, but not a relationship. Regardless of your place of origin or your cultural identity, SMCT ensures that your rituals can be observed and your ceremonies can be preserved."

A range of community events are held annually at BMP, and we warmly welcome our partners across government, industry and community to visit this vibrant community space.

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