• Date: 05/10/2017
  • Cemetery: GMCT Home

GMCT manages 19 cemeteries and many are over 100 years old. For the past two years, GMCT’s history and heritage working group has focused on ensuring the lasting recognition and protection of these cemeteries’ rich historical treasures.

GMCT cemeteries offer a trove of relics and architectural features of the past, such as the Williamstown Fountain and the historic mortuary carriage at Fawkner Memorial Park.

The history and heritage working group was established to oversee the development of conservation management plans (CMPs) which inform the ongoing management of these heritage features. The group also assisted GMCT to improve its understanding of history and heritage issues.


From left – GMCT staff Noela Bajjali and Adriana Cordoba, CEO Jacqui Weatherill, Lee Anthony,  Dr Jan Penney, David Weatherill and Tony Clark at the group’s final meeting.

The working group was a team of volunteers including consultants, historians and community representatives, as well as GMCT staff and was led by trust member Dr Jan Penney.

Special thanks go to members David Weatherill, Tony Clark, Lee Anthony and June Dugina for their valued insights and contributions.  

Additional thanks to GMCT trust member and historian Dr Jan Penney for her significant support, including the contribution of a number of online history and heritage resources that are now available to the public. 

Conservation management planning

Conservation management plans have now been published for many of our cemeteries and are available on our website. The conservation management plan for Fawkner Memorial Park, the most comprehensive of all our cemeteries, will be published in the coming months. 

Conservation management plans will have an important ongoing role in the future of GMCT as we plan for evolving community needs and manage cemetery grounds and assets. Having plans in place to ensure the preservation of historically-significant features is a key part of the continued development of our cemetery master plans.

This includes the management of the heritage-protected features of our cemeteries, recorded in the Victorian Heritage Register. The Victorian Heritage Register is the official listing of more than 2000 places and objects assessed as significant to the State of Victoria – among them, Fawkner Memorial Park.

Changes to heritage-protected features may require special permits from Heritage Victoria. Recommendations from conservation management planning will help GMCT understand how we can integrate new infrastructure and landscaping in a way that does not detract from the heritage look and feel of our cemeteries – a characteristic greatly valued by our local communities and which give cemeteries their unique “personality”.    

Protecting history and heritage into the future

As part of GMCT’s 2017-2022 strategic plan, we have committed to deliver lasting stewardship of our cemeteries. GMCT aims to be a custodian of heritage, enabling and encouraging our families and communities to understand the history and legacy of our cemeteries.

In the coming years, GMCT will also develop a heritage and history strategy to realise our aspiration for internationally-leading remembrance and memorialisation, focused on heritage and history and incorporating new innovations for families.

Find out more

Click here to read more about conservation management planning in a cemetery context.

Click here to view the conservation management plans for GMCT cemeteries and access fact sheets about the history of our cemeteries.

Click here to read our strategic plan.

Click here to see how some of Fawkner Memorial Park’s historical features have changed over time.