Annual Report from the Warrnambool Cemetery Trust - October2020
It is with pleasure I present the Annual Report for 2020. Amid the pandemic this has been an extraordinary year with ‘business as usual’ at the Warrnambool Cemetery, significant developments at our new site ‘Tooram Memorial Park’ and the requirement to communicate, in the main, via online technology.
With the knowledge that Tooram Memorial Park will be required for burial in the very near future, works at the site were ramped up. Whilst prior developments included erection of a workshop and establishment of roads and car parking, this year we have focused on implementation of various security measures, creation of a memorial garden, development of paths and the laying of foundations for burial sites. The Trust have deliberated extensively on the style and layout of Tooram Memorial Park, wanting to meet community needs as well as presenting a memorial parkland that we could all be proud off. The Trust have consulted extensively with other cemeteries, landscape gardeners, horticulturists and nurseries sufficiently to have now prepared a site that will develop and flourish well into the future. On its opening The Trust will present Tooram Memorial Park with greater options for memorialisation including the more modern, low rise burial sites and a range of different options for interment of ashes or memorial plaques.
Another significant development was the appointment of all new staff due to retirement of 2 long term employees. This gave us the opportunity to review our human resource needs and appoint individuals with the skills to help us meet changing needs into the future. In addition to a manager and maintenance staff with a wide range of skills, we have also an Administrative Assistant, enabling us to better meet client needs and refine record management.
This year has also brought pending external reviews of governance, providing us with the opportunity to review current policies and procedures and identify opportunities for improvement. It is pleasing to be able to identify our current high level of compliance particularly following some refinement in areas including data and risk management. We look forward to the review in coming months.
Whilst developments throughout the year have not come without an extensive outlay of expenditure and a demonstrated loss for the financial year, retained investments and benevolent grants have reduced the overall impact. This however, is not sustainable and the Trust will continue working with the DHHS with regard to the fee structure for Tooram Memorial Park.
It is with regret that we have received the resignation of Clive Rayner from his role as Secretary to the Warrnambool Cemetery Trust. Over the past 10 years Clive has demonstrated remarkable dedication and commitment in this position and we are pleased that Clive will remain as a valued member on the Trust.
The coming years will bring many challenges for the Trust. As our business expands, so does the need for diligent governance. We look forward to those challenges as present Tooram Memorial Park to the Warrnambool community, whilst looking at opportunities to further enhancing the facilities at the Warrnambool Cemetery.
Chairperson – Warrnambool Cemetery Trust