How long have you been funeral celebrant?
Not long at all. I started training and doing funerals in June this year and in October this year, I did the Master Class in Ceremony with Zenith Virago of the Natural Death Care Centre. I have found the work and training very rewarding and feel that I will be forever developing and learning the craft.
What was the main reason for you entering the funeral space?
I have been a marriage celebrant since 2010 conducting weddings on weekends while also maintaining a busy corporate career. Over that decade I had the sadness and privilege of being with a very close friend at the end of her life and supporting other close friends who had lost sons in very tragic circumstances. My heart ached for them but through the sadness, I could also see how a good farewell through ceremony could help with the healing. That is what made me want to become a Funeral Celebrant and Director and in December 2019 I finished my corporate career so I could pursue Funeral Celebrancy and Directing as well as officiating at even more weddings.
What do you enjoy most about funeral celebrancy?
Sitting with families and hearing the stories about the person who has died is often very inspirational. Whether the person has been famous, talented, or just a great dad or mum, sibling or child, there are often lovely stories about how they helped or influenced others and while there is sadness, often I find myself laughing with family as they tell funny stories about their loved one. At the end of someone's life, family and friends are often focused on supporting each other and recalling and remembering the whole personality and journey of the person who has died. It helps me reflect on my life and those I love around me and to bring more to my work as a Funeral Celebrant and Director.
What does an ideal funeral ceremony look like to you?
For me, an ideal funeral ceremony changes with every person who dies because we are all different and so a ceremony should change to suit the person who we are farewelling and their family. I believe that there is a tempo to a funeral ceremony and the ceremony is co-created with the family, not just owned by the Celebrant or Funeral Director. In the ceremony, I think it is important to address the death and the loss and that can be a very sad and low tempo part of the ceremony. However, by the end of the ceremony, there could be a feeling that we have served the deceased well with a good and personally appropriate farewell, and those attending may even feel rejuvenated and comforted by the ceremony. A good ceremony may achieve that through music, eulogy and tributes and recalling the happy times in the person's life and using some symbolic actions, such as drawing on the casket or placing farewell letters in it, to allow family and friends to be involved in the ceremony.
I have been a Civil Celebrant since 2010 and I love crafting and conducting unique weedings for loved up couples. I am ecstatic to be able to say that my couples always rate me 10/10. I am a member of the Australian Marriage Celebrants Association.
I am also a Funeral Celebrant and Funeral Director, working with Picaluna Funerals to deliver beautiful, authentic farewells in traditional and unique locations across Sydney. I have completed the Master Class in Ceremony from NDCC.
I love what I am able to achieve for others by bringing my years of experience in writing, performance, communication and project management along with my eye for detail and creativity, and the ability to sit and truly listen to others.
Before I established BestCelebrant I spent 23 years holding various global and Australian roles for a multinational IT company where I got to traveled to 40 different countries, many of them multiple times. When not overseas I lived, and still live, on Sydney’s Northern Beaches with my husband Jason and a great community of running and ocean swimming buddies.
When people ask why I am a Wedding and Funeral Celebrant and Funeral Director the answer is;
“I am a better person and happier when I can give and create for others, and help them at really important moments in their lives.”
I studied Communication, Theatre and Journalism at CSU-Mitchell University (Bathurst) and later did my Masters in Management from MGSM (Sydney). My degrees taught me the science of writing but also how to listen well to pick up important details, and also gave me the tools and confidence to speak in front of large audiences, something I did often through my corporate career where I was also responsible for deliverying media and presentation training.