JUNE 12 2021 – Megan Doherty for The Canberra Times.
This article is an excerpt from a story originally published in the Canberra Times. Read the full article on the Canberra Times Website: canberratimes.com.au/story/7292827/looking-after-the-community-why-michelle-wanted-to-run-the-acts-crematorium/
It looks like a home, but it is actually the ACT’s first publicly-owned crematorium.
And the young woman in charge is 29-year-old Michelle Dariol, who believes it is a privilege to help people farewell their loved one.
The new crematorium officially opened on March 15. There have so far been 95 cremations (as at June 2021).
It is Canberra’s second crematorium and the first one run by the government, via the ACT Cemeteries Authority.
The other crematorium, Norwood Park has been privately owned and operated for the last 55 years, just across the roundabout in Sandford Street.
A government review found a need for a second crematorium, with 75 per cent of Canberrans choosing cremation rather than burials, not least to meet religious and cultural preferences.
Ms Dariol is not only the first operator of the first public crematorium in the ACT, but the territory’s first woman to operate a crematorium.
She feels it is a role she was destined to fulfil. She travelled to India when she was 18 and saw the very public cremations on the bank of the Ganges, forever changed by the ceremony of ashes being scatted in the river so a loved one’s soul could go to heaven.
“It was a really big moment for me,” she said. “It just really opened my mind.”
Originally published by Megan Doherty/Canberra Times.