The Echo of Graves

    The missing graves, or vanishing graves as I call them, have always interested me.  These are graves that for one reason or another have simply gone, reduced to little more than an outline in the soil.  All that remains is an 'echo' of the grave which once stood there.

    They interest me for a number of reasons, so this post is a collection of photos and comments about these vanishing graves.

The New Blog Logo

    As some of you have noticed the blog has a new logo, we're still tinkering with it but I'm quite happy. So I'd like to thank the person who made it. She put in hours and did around 50 different versions, all for free! Always happy to take into account my changes, however minor. She's already talking about designing other things (like business cards). If anyone needs a designer I'd highly recommend her.

    Thank you, and I look forward to the other design work lined up already!



Books about the Australian Funeral Industry

    Here are three good books which look at the history and changes to the Australian funeral landscape.   These books have been an invaluable source for my thesis, and generally understanding the industry as it is today.  The books look at social changes with death, in terms of attitudes, customs, demographics, and so on.  Through knowing how dying and grieving have changed we can understand the funeral industry and funerals in general.

    Anyone studying (or simply interested in) the funeral industry ro funerals anywhere in the world should have a look at these books.



Reminder - Interviews Needed

Surveys are now CLOSED and interviews are no longer being conducted, thank you to those who participated!

HREA Panel B approval no. 13 031

Project Title: The Public & Private Domains of Everyday Life: Social Sanitation & Australian Understandings of the Funeral Industry 

    I am looking for people to participate in my honours project!  This project seeks to develop a better understanding of our society through the modern Australian funeral industry.

    To do this I will need people to participate in interviews.  There are two types of participants I am after; those who have direct experience working in the funeral industry (funeral staff), and others with no experience working in the industry (the general public).  This project is part of honours in anthropology at the University of New South Wales and has received ethics approval (approval no. 13 031) from HREA Panel B at UNSW.

If you, or someone you know, is interested then contact me: 
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

Selection Criteria (for funeral participants):
  • Currently based in Sydney.
  • Work within the funeral industry, past or present.  This can include any role with direct funeral experience.  Such as an undertaker, crematorium staff, transfer crew, mortician, gravedigger, celebrants, and so on.  You do not need to be directly employed by a funeral company as long as you have direct experience working within the funeral industry in some capacity.
  • Aged 18 to 70.
  • Potential participants who have experienced a loss of a family member or friend within the last 24 months will be excluded.

Selection Criteria (for non-funeral participants):
  • Currently based in Sydney.
  • Very little to no direct experience with funeral industry procedures.  As in, never employed by a funeral company.
  • Aged 21 to 60.
  • Potential participants who have experienced a loss of a family member or friend within the last 24 months will be excluded.

Other Important Information:
  • All interviews will be conducted between the 25th of June and 30th of August.
  • Interviews will last 30 minutes.
  • Interviews are intended to be conducted at the UNSW Library, Kensington Campus, in private rooms.  Other locations around Sydney can be arranged.
  • Voice recordings and written notes will be taken, no videos or photos will be taken.
  • Interviews are face-to-face and semi-structured.  This means there will be a set of open ended questions which the participant can direct.
  • There is no compensation for participating.
  • It should be noted, this project is separate from the blog and its own project through the University of New South Wales (UNSW).

If you, or someone you know, is interested then contact me: 
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

    There is a copied of the project flyer below which has more information about the project.  You are welcome to share this flyer (and post) with anyone who might be interested in participating.

Funeral Industry Study
Hello, my name is Peter Minucos, and I am conducting a study exploring perceptions of the funeral industry in Sydney. This study will be looking at the public and private aspects of what happens after death and people’s attitudes and understandings of the industry. 

This study is for the purposes of my Honours research project in Sociology and Anthropology at the University of New South Wales, and this research has received ethics approval (approval no. 13 031) from HREA Panel B at UNSW. Through this study I hope to gain a better understanding of ‘social sanitation’ within society, how undesirable processes are removed from the public. I also hope to learn more about the funeral industry itself, from how it operates to why it works the way it does. 

I am seeking people and organisations willing to participate in the project and discuss their views on this topic. 

Anyone interested in the funeral industry or this topic is free to participate. I am seeking anyone who might have experience relating to the funeral industry, such as having attended a funeral, or work in a funeral company. But I am also looking for anyone curious in the funeral industry. The interviews should go for no longer than 30 minutes, and there will be no compensation from participation, although it will be greatly appreciated! 

If you are interested in participating please contact me with the information provided below OR if you know someone who may be interested please feel free to pass on this flyer. If you are interested you can contact me for more information on how you can participate to this research. 

I can be contacted on the following:
Email: Peter Minucos at theothersideoffunerals@gmail.com 
Or you can contact my research supervisor, Dr. Amanda Kearney.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration! 


Cemeteries Running Out of Space

    Every so often the public papers will run a couple of stories on how cemeteries are running out of space, then promptly drop the story.  It is an odd occurrence I have seen repeated ever few years and something I should address eventually.


Thank you for the book

    I want to say thank you to a fellow honours student for giving me a handy book.  Recently this student gave me a book for free, a nice gesture which I appreciate.  But what is better is that he saw the book and thought of me.

    This book was just what I needed for my background chapter.  So it was not only a thoughtful gift, but also a useful resource.

     One thing I really enjoy about honours are the other students, everyone is supportive and just a pleasure to chat with.  It is people like this who make the honours experience all the more enjoyable.

    So thank you fellow student, I hope to return the favour one day!

Details of the book:



What the American Funeral Says About the Australian Industry

    The concept of the American funeral comes from the Australian funeral industry, it is because of the industry that it has a presence.  Which I find amusingly ironic in a sense, how the American funeral is considered an ever-present threat to the Australian funeral, and yet it can only exist directly because of the Australian funeral; without the Australian industry there would be no American funeral.