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Launching Tree of Life Funerals

I’m Lauren Newman, I am a Marriage Celebrant, a Funeral Celebrant, Funeral Director and End of Life Doula, having trained through Preparing The Way. I’m also a member of NDAN and AHFA.

I moved to Batemans Bay in NSW about 2 years ago after 30+ years of living in Canberra and now it’s just so fabulous living in a coastal community. I quickly realised there was a funeral provider monopoly along the NSW far South Coast, which includes Batemans Bay, with the one multi-million dollar company owning all three outlets as well as the local crematorium, which meant the choices for local people were very limited. So I decided to change that and invested what could have been retirement money into my own funeral business, purchased all the equipment, set up a website, gathered all my suppliers and started getting the word out. I couldn’t just sit back and see the monopoly continue and for my new community limited choice!

I befriended a number of local funeral celebrants and we started doing some talks around town called “Doing Death Differently” and they were warmly received with a lot of people being really enthusiastic about what we had to say.

I also befriended a wonderful woman at Bodalla who is opening a Natural Burial Ground called Wallawani Way and we are working together to promote not only natural burials but home funerals.

In NSW, we are allowed to keep a deceased person at home for up to 5 days but of course, this doesn’t suit everyone and often it’s simply not possible, so I needed access to a mortuary. Mortuaries are strictly controlled by NSW Health and various government regulations and I didn’t have one.

So, to be able to see my dream realised, I have partnered with Picaluna Funerals, based in Sydney, who have an agreement with the said multi-million-dollar company, for Picaluna to have access to their mortuaries, even in the Regions! Winner! When I need to utilise the mortuary, Picaluna organise it on my behalf.

I now have the support of Picaluna Funerals who have the same enthusiastic support for home funerals and community and family-led funerals as myself, and I have access to a mortuary. I will now be able to offer full services to families and if they choose to keep their deceased person at home for just a day, I can confidently tell them I can continue to look after them, right through to the end, and have their person safely cared for in a local mortuary until we hold the personalised funeral.

Where there is a will there is a way, and I feel that in my own small way, I have proven that it only takes one person to make a big difference and with the support of like-minded people, anything is possible!

I really look forward to serving my local community well into the future with many satisfied families who have had a home funeral with my assistance.

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