Funeral Industry Professional Association challenge ‘A Current Affair’ Article of March 7 2019

Newhaven Funerals endorses the stand taken by the Funeral Industry Association in challenging the reporting and facts in a recent story on the funeral industry by CH 9’s A Current Affair.

Our company upholds the highest standards when dealing with our clients, and the trust they place in us is of the utmost importance and we will do everything in our power to protect that.

Newhaven Funerals is a family owned business and we respect our clients and their wishes and we are completely transparent in how and what we provide as funeral directors.

You can rest assured that when choosing to use our services that we will provide a professional service and treat you with the respect that you deserve in a time that is very emotional for you.  

Tim Connolly Director Newhaven Funerals

Tim Connolly Director Newhaven Funerals Brisbane & Gold Coast.

Growing up around funerals since the age of six, Tim is a Director of Newhaven Funerals and is actively involved at all levels within the funeral industry in Australia.

“For your information we have published the following article:”

Funeral Industry Professional Associations challenge the journalistic professionalism of the ‘A Current Affair’ Article of March 7 2019, on the funeral industry.

While every industry has it’s problem cases, the vast majority of funeral industry participants work hard to provide high standards of practice for their clients.

The main professional associations in the industry – the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), the Australian Funeral Directors Association (AFDA), and Funeral Directors Association of NSW (FDA) – all require their members to maintain high ethical standards.

In fact, if A Current Affair had done a little research on their ‘whistleblower’, they would have found that he has previously been expelled from one of these associations for unethical behaviour, repeated false statements, and for consistently bringing the industry into disrepute.

So far none of the industry professional associations have been able to identify any attempt at fact checking in this article, and so far A Current Affair has not responded to our enquiries about why no cross checking appears to have been done.

To the specifics of what was claimed.

The claim that the practice industry wide is to remove people from nice looking coffins to cremate them in cut price boxes – purely to make a quick buck – is both statistically false, and technologically misleading.

While there are a few unethical people in any industry who would do such a thing for pure profit, they are usually a tiny fraction of the whole industry.

Australia wide the vast majority of cremations happen in the same coffin the funeral happened in. 

Similarly, Australia wide, the vast majority of cremations in a different coffin or shroud: were with the knowledge of, and at the specific request of, the family ordering the service.

Many people now insist on cremation with minimal environmental damage. This looks different in many states, but can often involve cremation in a calico shroud, or on a simple board, or in a minimalist cardboard coffin. Most people call this ‘Environmentally Friendly’ cremation.

Many companies openly advertise the advantages of a pretty display cover coffin, which is removed before the simple cardboard box interior is cremated. This is an increasingly popular option, and responding to demand by an increasingly environmentally aware public.

Of course this is only ethical if the families know what is happening; ask for it to happen; and pay the appropriate price for the practice.

If the family think they are paying for one thing, and an underhanded exchange is taking places behind the scenes, then that is unethical behaviour which the funeral industry associations are happy to call out. (In practice, when the professional associations try to point to someone doing unethical things, the State Consumer Affairs bodies usually reply that such behaviour is ‘statistically insignificant’.)

It is notable, that what unethical behaviour does happen in the industry is largely concentrated in those company’s that would never be accepted for membership of any professional association, or would be expelled once their unethical behaviour was revealed.

The industry professional associations have been pushing for many years for better regulation, but always get the answer that it is up to the industry to regulate itself. 

The best safeguard families can get from unethical behaviour, is to go to a funeral director that is independently assessed for ethical behaviour by one of the long established Professional Associations – such as the NFDA – National Funeral Directors Association; AFDA – Australian Funeral Directors Association, or the FDA – Funeral Directors Association of NSW. 

This statement is jointly signed by Nigel Davies (President of the National Funeral Directors Association – NFDA) and Michael Mackay (President of the Funeral Directors Association of NSW – FDA).