Its been a fantastic year for us at Memoleaves. Our community is growing and we are loving your stories.
We started this website because we believe in the power shared stories have in creating compassion and understanding in the world. Grief and death, is still such an enigma to many of us, and avoiding our thoughts until we become initiated. If we could share our death stories as well as we share our birth stories, we may find there is less fear when our time of initiation comes.
This year has been a big one for us. We have interviewed some inspiring people who work in the death industry, and artists who have produced works inspired by the theme of grief and death. We have concentrated on building community awareness around the issues we are passionate about, and we hope the stories and community continue to grow.
Our largest and proudest project we launched this year was a Bereavement Leave petition, to extend bereavement leave in the National Employment Standards, and a big thank-you to the over 700 people who have so far signed. The launch was part of Dying to know Day, which is part of Groundswell Projects. Currently bereavement leave still stands at 2 paid days for full-time and casual workers, unpaid for casual workers. This is still at the discretion of an employer and is only available for the loss of a close family member. In this time of less conventional nuclear families, there is much outdated about this allowance. We launched this petition in August with a heart-felt event at Longergan and Raven Funerals. This will be an ongoing campaign for us at Memoleaves. While it took Lucy Herd in the UK seven years to have a 10 day paid bereavement leave legislated for bereaved parents, we are hoping Australia will move on this with greater speed. We want to thank Groundswell for all their support and guidance this year, especially around getting the petition launched. We are eternally grateful, and vow to continue to fight for the rights of all of you who have signed the petition.
2018 also saw the launch of our Directory. This will always be a free offering to the community. We know how daunting it can be when someone is dealing with the emotional and physical demands of the death of a loved one. We hope to build our Directory so it can become a ‘one-stop-shop’ for all your needs. Whether it be a funeral celebrant, death doula or a venue; an apartment clearer, a caterer or a grief counsellor. There are so many people doing such great work in the end of life field, and we want a place that the general public can access this information. Have a look, please make a listing if you have something to offer.
We have lots of exciting projects in the pipeline, and will be looking to secure some funding. Stay tuned. We have a growing list of inspiring people we wish to interview next year. We would love to hear from you. get in touch, or upload your video, telling us about what you do and how death and grief have influenced your life.
Happy Festive Season everyone. Please keep the stories coming. Safe holidays to you all.