CEO’s Panel—Operational Matters Now and Reflections Ahead

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Hear from the industry’s leading CEO’s.

The first session of this presentation will focus on operational challenges, providing delegates with first hand experience and examples. First impressions, initial challenges, cemetery infrastructure,priorities, planning and cemetery legislation are just some of the topics that will be covered.

This second session will focus on the priorities for the next 3-5 years, land, environmentalsustainability, cultural diversity, succession planning and forward Governance arrangements forcemeteries.


 Rpbert PittRobert Pitt: CEO, Adelaide Cemeteries Authority. Robert commenced his career in the  cemetery industry in 2001 at Centennial Park  Cemetery Authority holding various roles,  including Operations Manager before being  appointed in 2010 as Chief Executive Officer

of the Adelaide Cemeteries Authority, a State  Government-owned business.

Over the last ten years, Robert has led the  Authority through a period of cultural change  that has seen its four Adelaide cemeteries evolve and the organisation become widely recognised for its service and facilities.

Robert holds a Bachelor of Arts, Graduate Diploma in Horticulture and an MBA and has experience working in civil construction, disability care, hospitality, local government, events and risk management.

CEO SpeakersDeb Ganderton: CEO, The Greater Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust (GMCT). Based in Melbourne, GMCT is one of the leading players in Australia’s funeral and cemetery industry.

GMCT is a self-funding, not for profit organisation that runs 19 cemeteries and memorial parks and three crematoria across Melbourne. It’s also responsible for two greenfield sites to be developed on Melbourne’s urban fringe.

GMCT’s 600 hectares of beautiful heritage parklands are visited by almost two million people each year.

Deb is CEO of GMCT at a time when Australia’s funeral and cemetery industry (and indeed the world) is preparing itself strategically and operationally for the impact of COVID-19.

Her ambitions are to lead a resilient and happy GMCT workforce who remain committed to providing an essential service to Melbourne’s diverse communities.

Deb has significant management and  leadership experience in the public and private sector as well as owning and operating her own business. Deb has  masters’ degrees in Arts and Science and is a  qualified foresight practitioner.


lee shearer 320pxAnnie De Jong, Ballarat Cemeteries


jane groverJane Grover: CEO, Southern MetropolitanCemeteries Trust.

Conditions, Customer Data & Strategy Impacts
Lewis Carroll ‘If you don’t know where you’regoing, any road will get you there’.
The impacts of the pandemic has changedthe way the world operates forever. What does this mean for your organisation and more importantly how does this impactcustomer behaviour?
SMCT is known for its sector innovation, Janewill share her insights.
Jane is also Chairperson for the Centre ofContemporary Photography, Foundation Board Member of the Melbourne Theatre Company and formerly an Executive atCrown Resorts and Sheraton Hotels.
Jane holds a Graduate Diploma in BusinessAdministration, A Fellow of the VincentFairfax Centre for Ethical Leadership
(Ormond College, Melbourne University) aWilliamson Fellow & Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. 
In 2018 Jane completed the “OxfordAdvanced Leadership and Executive Development Programme” at the SAID Business School in the UK.


isabelle MeyerIsabelle Meyer: CEO, Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries NSW.

Isabelle has over 30 years’ experience leading innovation, transformation and business development in the private, government and NGO sectors.

She has successfully run a diverse range of business enterprises, including private and public medical practices and hospitals, University Colleges, manufacturing and disability support services. In government roles, she
has been instrumental in developing and implementing reforms to patient
management systems, patient transport, allied health service delivery, pathology and medical imaging service delivery, public transport, affordable housing, student traineeships and out of home care.

With a strong background in service and asset procurement and business
development, Isabelle has also worked as an adviser to governments around Australia and has led key national and state reforms.

For the past 8 years she has advised the Government on the management of the National Emergency medical stockpile, and the supply of vaccines in Australia.

Isabelle’s academic background is in Sociology, Literature and History (including a Masters Degree and a PHD), with a focus on organisational design, business resilience and continuity planning



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