How does cremation work in Australia?

Why is cremation a popular choice?

It might not surprise you to know that up to 70% of Australians are choosing cremation over traditional burials. The growing popularity in choosing cremation ashes is due to a number of reasons, including the environmental impact, the lower costs associated with cremation but perhaps more relevant is the changing view around death.

The ability to pre-plan your own funeral arrangements means that we are being influenced by the idea that our lives should be a celebration. By choosing to celebrate life people are increasingly seeking creative ways to skip the traditional burial and bring their loved ones together after their death in a more positive and joyful experience, like having an ashes memorial or considering being buried as a tree.

What is cremation?

Cremation in Australia is conducted by reputable crematoria registered and regulated by each state. It involves the final disposing of a deceased body by placing the body inside a purpose built cremator for 1-2 hours.

For Australian legal requirements, this process does include placing the body inside a purpose built combustible coffin before it enters the cremation chamber. This ensures relevant occupational health and safety standards are adhered to as well as ensuring the deceased’s body is treated with dignity.

The body is then exposed to extremely high temperatures of around 1000 degrees celsius, resulting in the remaining “ashes” and bone fragments. These remaining bone fragments are processed further into a fine powder, and collected together in an ash container, which is then returned to the family of the deceased.  

How much does cremation cost in Australia?

Recent research into the cost of death and the financial impact left behind on loved ones of the deceased have revealed that traditional burials are increasingly more expensive year by year with traditional funeral and burial services costing an average of $19,000.

The choice towards cremation in large part is due to the lower costs involved, costing an average of $7,000 for cremation services.

This explains why people are actively having conversations about death and the cost of death with their loved ones, to avoid financial hardship falling upon them. And by taking a proactive approach to how you want to be remembered, it also gives reassurance around actual costs and being in control of your own funeral arrangements.

Can we have a funeral before the cremation process?

It is your choice whether you wish to have a funeral service before cremation takes place. Many funeral directors can guide you and host a small funeral ceremony or memorial service to allow you to celebrate the life of your loved one and say goodbye, before the deceased is transferred over to the crematorium.

Another option that is becoming increasingly popular is to have a memorial service after cremation takes place.

This means that the family have opted for “direct cremation” which means there is no funeral service at the time and location of the cremation, and is also known as a “no-service cremation” or “cremation only”. Effectively, family and friends do not attend the cremation but can organise to have a memorial service when the ashes are returned to them.

What can we do to celebrate our loved one after cremation?

Hosting an ashes memorial when you receive the cremation ashes of your loved one can be a lovely way to celebrate the life of the one you cherished. With the increasing choice to be cremated, there is also an increase in creative ways to celebrate and memorialise cremation ashes such as being buried as a tree.

Many people are opting for a sustainable and environmentally friendly way to memorialise cremation ashes. Using a bio urn is thought to be an obvious choice to bury ashes within a memorial garden and allow a tree to be planted atop of the bio urn.

But did you know that cremated ashes are actually highly alkaline and therefore harmful to the environment? And by burying ashes within a bio urn and eventually allowing a tree to absorb the ashes can in fact be harmful to the tree and surrounding plants.

A Legacy Tree however is a definitively more sustainable, environmentally friendly and a beautiful way to allow your loved one to live on after death. A Legacy Tree is a tree planted in soil that has been infused with the ashes of your loved ones. Using patented Living Legacy Ash Treatment, cremation ashes are detoxified in order to make it compatible to the soil and therefore allow a tree to thrive and absorb the newly composed nutrients from your loved one’s ashes.

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Your loved one’s tree is memorialised from ashes within the unique gardens of Mornington Green.

To learn more about what you can do to celebrate your loved one or your life after cremation, click here.

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