More keen to get creative than have old style funeral

THE way Australians remember the dead is significantly changing, with an increasing shift away from typical style funerals.

New research reveals almost one in five have specifically requested that a formal funeral not be held for them.
According to Olsens Farewells managing director Steve Kellaway, this means the industry has to adapt to reflect changing community perceptions.
The research of more than 1,000 Australians undertaken by Antenna Strategic Insights on behalf of four leading family-owned funeral providers – Olsens Farewells, Walter Carter Funerals, Andrew Kennedy Funerals and Kelly Family Funerals – also found that more than half (58 per cent) would be more likely to opt for a cremation if creative options for the ashes were available, such as being pressed into a jewel, being placed in fireworks or mixed with ink for a tattoo.
Mr Kellaway said the funeral industry was on the cusp of significant evolution, with many also keen to hold farewells at non-traditional venues like beaches, art centres and local clubs.
“We are sponsoring a new online support resource, which offers guidance and resources on all aspects of death and bereavement,” he said.
Kellys Family Funerals’ Melinda Salkeld says an increasing number of families in Bankstown are looking for alternatives.
“Our community is richly diverse and evolving, though the one thing that doesn’t change is the human need for support and compassion when someone close dies,” she said.
“We aim to ensure people feel supported throughout the entire process no matter what style of farewell they choose when it’s time.”