• Date: 20/02/2018
  • Cemetery: GMCT Home

GMCT’s green interment and memorialisation options provide you with the choice to be farewelled or to farewell a loved one in an environmentally-sensitive way.

Rising environmental awareness and society’s shift towards sustainability have also extended to how we mark the end of our lives. Increasingly, our customers are exploring new options and engaging in conversation about how they’d like to be remembered.  

GMCT has designed a range of innovative green offerings for those who’d like to be memorialised in our cemeteries and memorial parks while minimising their environmental footprint. 

Environmentally-sensitive burial

Interestingly, there is currently no standard definition of a natural burial in Australia, and no standard practice guidelines for those dealing with the burial location environment and the burial process itself.

At GMCT, natural burial sites are designed differently to conventional burial areas. The focus is on environmental sustainability and returning the area back to its natural state. The deceased is interred in the earth in a way that encourages the natural process of decomposition, allowing the body to be fully recycled into the environment.

Shrouds, clothing, linings, fittings and other materials on or in a coffin or the deceased must be of a natural fibre, while coffins or receptacles containing the remains of the deceased must be of plain, untreated plantation timbers.

Natural burial sites are grid-referenced and incorporated into GMCT’s GIS mapping system, however the site is not individually marked with a headstone, plaque or monument. Instead, the deceased is remembered with a plaque or inscription on a common memorial near the burial area.


Two GMCT areas are dedicated to natural burial:

Lilydale Memorial Park

Healesville Cemetery 

Djeernongs Walk


‘Djeernongs’ is an Aboriginal term for ‘a pathway or many footprints’Djeernongs Walk contains native flora and fauna and provides views of the Yarra Valley and mountain ranges. 

‘Tharangilkbek’ means ‘woody country in the sky’ or ‘promenade for the blessed deceased’. Graves are sensitively placed among existing trees, including native gums.


A legacy connected to trees

GMCT partnered with Living Legacy Forest in 2016 to launch a new innovation for the memorialisation of cremated remains.

Living Legacy Forest memorial trees are a unique way to preserve the memory of a loved one in nature. Options are now available for cremated remains to be transformed into life-giving nourishment for a chosen memorial tree at a GMCT cemetery.

In effect, your loved one becomes part of a living tree, creating a lasting natural memorial.

You can choose from a variety of trees, to be planted at an agreed location of your choice within our parks. A further 200 trees are also planted locally and abroad as a tribute to your loved one – to replace the air we breathe in a lifetime.

Continuing the conversation

  • For information about green interment and memorialisation options at our 19 cemeteries and memorial parks, call our customer care team on 1300 022 298.
  • To find out more about Living Legacy Forest, click here.
  • GMCT previously hosted a screening and community Q&A session on the acclaimed documentary film 'A Will for the Woods'. The film follows Clark Wang, a man dying of lymphoma, as he attempts to figure out the most environmentally friendly form of burial. You can watch the trailer here. A range of related resources on natural burials are available here.