Death literacy workshop in Blaxland

Death is not a topic people commonly feel comfortable talking about, but we do need to think about to plan well for end-of-life.

Psychologist Kerrie Noonan who works in palliative care, is keen to increase people’s knowledge of the topic and will hold a workshop at the Lower Mountains Neighbourhood Centre on August 19 entitled “Ten Things to Know Before You Go”.

The Woodford resident, who is the director of the GroundSwell Project, an art project making cultural and social change about death and dying, said there was a lot people didn’t know about death.

For example, most people don’t realise you can organise your own funeral without the need for a funeral director, she said.

In Tasmania there is even a coffin club where people build their own coffins.

“There’s always one person in every group who is fiercely independent and wants to do it [a funeral] on their own,” Ms Noonan said.

The workshop covers a variety of topics like planning well for end of life when you can no longer stay in your own home, how people would like their body disposed of after death, grief, and support after death.

“There is a hunger for information … it’s about understanding all of the options we have,” Ms Noonan, 45, said.

She says the workshops are a lot of fun to run.

"There’s an energy in the room. It’s not a down workshop at all. People feel empowered by the information and what they can do to plan well,” Ms Noonan said.

The first pilot of the workshop was held at the Lower Mountains Neighbourhood Centre four years ago. Ms Noonan now runs these workshops all around Australia.

To register for the workshop on August 19 from 10am – 2pm, visit or call 4739 1164. Cost is $50 waged, $30 unwaged.