"Our humanity lives in our sense of community."

We interview women in our community about innovation and what drives them to make a difference in their industries. This week we spoke to Catherine Bell, Executive Director of Tender Funerals Canberra Region.

What are you working on?

Tender Funerals Canberra Region are launching a campaign to raise $150K from the community in order to unlock support from The Snow Foundation  and  SEFA, effectively turning every dollar we raise into 5.

Tender Funeral Canberra region will service not only Canberra and Queanbeyan, but also reach out to Yass, Cooma, Goulburn, Bungendore and Braidwood areas.

Why is innovation important to you?

Can you imagine having to choose between no funeral and going into years – if not decades – of debt in order to farewell a loved one?

The cost of a funeral can be devastating to someone earning a low income or with no savings, especially when that death is unexpected.  Tender Funerals believes that funerals can be affordable without compromising on a meaningful service. We can do this by adopting a not for profit, community led approach to funeral care.

What drives you to make a difference?

Tender Funerals began in Port Kembla as a community uprising, seeking to address the financial burden of funerals and bring death back where it belongs – with the community. Tender Funerals has been successfully operating in Port Kembla, NSW since 2016.  Tender’s full range of services are accessible, inclusive and based on principles that align with people’s individual culture, values and beliefs – an enriching experience to truly honour the deceased and assist with a healthy bereavement.

Do you have any advice for getting more women into the innovation ecosystem?

Support networks make a big difference.  These are often taken for granted by men, as the women in their life tend to provide this support.  We need to acknowledge that the roles that women play in life are many and varied, and often times they are carefully balancing many different roles, often with great expectation.   Tender is built on the importance of community; a community that supports each other is a strong community.  Our humanity lives in our sense of community.

What are you proud of right now?

I am so proud to be a part of a team of dedicated community-minded individuals, motivated with the shared goal of bringing affordable and meaningful funerals to our region.  We are providing death literacy, and helping to bring together a community ready to face the inevitable with confidence and care.

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