George Simpson: “Past, present and future of Sydney cemeteries – land, affordability and evolving cemetery practices”
There are many community groups in Greater Sydney that have no other option than to bury, however we are operating in an industry where availability of cemetery land is a critical concern and the rising cost of living is impeding end-of-life choices.
In the UK many families are facing funeral poverty. Here in Australia, we are starting to see the same trends. Families simply do not have the ability to cover the cost of their funeral services and if nothing changes, the problem will only get worse.
At Rookwood General Cemetery we are implementing strategies to resolve Sydney’s cemetery crises and ensure communities have access to equitable end-of-life services. This presentation will explore these strategies and present a vision for the cemetery industry of the future.
George Simpson is Chief Executive Officer of Rookwood General Cemetery. He commenced his career in the funeral industry in the 1980’s, initially taking on the role of Assistant Undertaker with the largest funeral provider in the UK, The Co-operative. There he spent his days washing hearses and trimming coffins, before transitioning into the roles of Funeral Director, Area Manager and Regional Manager.
In 2008 George moved to Australia, taking on the position of Shared Services Manager NSW with InvoCare. In this role, he oversaw improvements in service delivery, client satisfaction and operational efficiencies.
Since joining Rookwood General Cemetery, he has been instrumental in improving service delivery, implementing an effective stakeholder engagement program and developing a strategic plan focused on providing quality and affordable funeral services to the multicultural Sydney community.