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Funeral Poverty: A Rising Crisis Unveiled with Kieran Worthington & Kevin Hartley

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25th April 2024

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About this episode

This episode focuses on the escalating issue of funeral poverty and debt.

I speak with Kieran Worthington and Kevin Hartley, who discuss their mission to provide dignified funerals for those who might not be able to afford one.
The conversation begins with a poignant question: where were Kieran and Kevin last year when our friend's children had to crowdfund their father's funeral?
As it turns out, they were always there, offering their services to those in need, only we weren't aware of them.
Regrettably, many are unaware of their services when they need them the most.

This episode aims to increase awareness about their services.

Kieran and Kevin highlight the challenges that small charities face in making a significant impact, especially in a large city like Melbourne. They have been working for 27 years, striving to reach as many people as possible to inform them about the support they can provide in times of need.
Throughout the conversation, we delve into the various facets of their work and the people they assist. Their mission isn't solely about helping those living on the streets or without any money. They also support those who are barely managing, individuals on the brink of their financial limits. A funeral expense can push them over, and that's when Kieran and Kevin step in.

We hope this episode provides you with a new perspective on funerals and the financial considerations that often accompany them. Remember, it's not morbid to think about death, but rather a part of life. Let's not be caught dead unprepared.

Don't forget to subscribe, rate, and review 'Don't Be Caught Dead' on your favourite podcast platform. Stay tuned for more insightful episodes.

Remember; You may not be ready to die, but at least you can be prepared.

Take care,


Show notes

Guest Bio
Podcast Guest - Image
Kieran Worthington

Kieran Worthington and Kevin Hartley talk about their collaboration - Sustainable Funerals Group Ltd & the Earth Funerals Project.  The collaboration includes delivery of services to financially disadvantaged families through the Bereavement Assistance brand (www.bereavementassistance.org.au); Potters Field Funerals, which utilises a social enterprise model to support the charity (www.pottersfieldfunerals.com.au); and Earth Funerals Project (www.earthfunerals.org) bringing forward new models for provision of sustainable funerals, natural burials and restoration burial grounds. Kevin and Kieran also discuss the backgrounds and history of these models of funeral delivery and reflect on the changing nature of the industry. 

Kevin Hartley


In the podcast, we discuss:
How Kieran and Kevin's work contributes to the community.
The challenges they face in creating awareness about their services.
The types of people they've been helping and how their demographic is shifting.
The future of funerals and the changes they anticipate.


00:00:02,440 --> 00:00:05,330
Kieran: We did a number of interviews,
radio and print back in those days.

00:00:05,380 --> 00:00:10,000
And this, this, this young woman just
wanted to know like, Oh, this is terrible.

00:00:10,109 --> 00:00:12,670
People with no money and living
on the streets and Ted said,

00:00:12,670 --> 00:00:13,970
well, that's not always the case.

00:00:14,439 --> 00:00:15,800
He said, I'll give you an example.

... Read More






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