The Secret Life of Death
A documentary featuring the Walter Carter Funerals team
Ever wondered what goes on in the funeral industry?
The Secret Life of Death is a behind-the-scenes documentary narrated by Rachel Griffiths. It follows Dale, Richard, Jasmine and Amber from Walter Carter Funerals as they navigate the day-to-day challenges, relationships, sorrows and joys that come with dealing with the end of life. Screening on SBS On Demand.
Screening via SBS On Demand
The Secret Life of Death is part of SBS’s annual Untold Australia series. Honest, intimate and, at times, confronting, the documentary provides a thought-provoking insight into a stage of life that impacts us all.
The Walter Carter Funerals team is honoured to have been selected to be part of this documentary – and we encourage you to watch it via SBS On Demand.
Produced and filmed by:
Meet the stars of The Secret Life of Death
As the 5th generation of her family to lead Walter Carter Funerals in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, there’s little doubt the funeral industry is in Dale Maroney’s blood. Her earliest memories are of visiting her father at work at Walter Carter Funerals. As a child, hearing people talk about funerals, seeing grieving families and passing a coffin in the hallway were not unusual. “While my parents never placed any expectations on me, I know they were delighted when I started work at Walter Carter Funerals,” she says. “I’ve always been proud of what our business stands for and what we offer the community. That pride was instilled in me by my family and has always been reinforced by others in the industry and the community.”
Richard worked in the transport industry before making a career change. He moved into the funeral industry after almost losing his daughter. During the course of her illness, Richard and his wife had discussions about his daughter’s funeral. He wondered about the kind of person the funeral director would be, and wanted to believe they would be someone who was patient and caring – someone who could lighten the load and relate to the pain his family was feeling should the worst come to pass. “After my daughter recovered, the idea stayed with me and I thought: ‘that person could be me’,” he remembers. “I get a great deal of satisfaction from my job. It’s confronting and it’s rewarding. Coming to work every day I hope to be able to quietly, almost invisibly, make things easier for our client families.”
Growing up, Jasmine knew she either wanted to work in the film and television industry or become a funeral professional. After several years in media production and entertainment, she decided it was time to follow her true aspiration and work in the funeral industry. “I don’t come from a ‘funeral family’ and it wasn’t an obvious career choice, but it’s something I’ve long felt I was meant to do,” she says. “‘Why on earth do you want to do THAT?’ is the question I’m most often asked. Yes, I do THAT. And I’m extremely proud of it. Death is hard. I’m honoured and grateful I’m now in a position to take responsibility, and make things happen and spare people the stress of seeing what goes on behind the curtain.”
Amber has always had a strong interest in the funeral industry, particularly mortuary care and services. While studying at university, she worked in the hospitality industry and this has contributed to her ability to understand and appreciate people from all walks of life.