From the inaugural Melbourne Edition of the Festival, 9-10 September 2017
"I learned that there are options. To speak up. To ask for more time when dealing with the death of a loved one - before "arrangements" are made. It's OK to ask for time. There are people who can help and organisations who can help as advocates. How important these conversations are about what we want for ourselves in our care before death.
Despite what many might think a Festival of Death and Dying might be like, I found the whole experience really life affirming. It felt very special for the "veil" to be lifted on the realities, practicalities, mystery, fear, love and all that lies in between for those passing and those left behind. I came out of curiosity, realising there is so little I know and so little broadly talked about this rite of passage we will ALL experience. I learnt so much more than I anticipated, and have come away feeling quite passionate about the importance of continuing this conversation in my life with those around me. - Angela Ashley-Chiew
"This festival was full of genuine caring people who I felt were working towards respect, dignity, compassion and normality to be part of the experience of death and dying in our country. It was admirable and I felt blessed to be in the company of so many people willing to be with the dying with respect and integrity . Anne Mathison
"The overall atmosphere was a stand-out. It is so refreshing to have a space to discuss issues around death and dying." C.B
"The workshops were highly stimulating, interesting and it was a great opportunity to meet people from similar work backgrounds sharing a similar interest in the topics explored." J. G.
"It was fantastic. Incredibly invigorating. Intimate. Stand out experience: The atmosphere created by the event - both presenters and attendees, and connections with people I made. It's okay to be anxious about going. I was. But my anxiety soon melted away and I felt held in love and companionship. The Festival of Death and Dying is an incredibly invigorating and liberating experience. Highly recommended." KR
"Definitely not threatening or morbid this was a festival of diverse and interesting activities and talks which said "get out there and get involved!" KB
From the Inaugural Sydney Festival of Death and Dying, 18-20 November 2016
"The inaugural Sydney Festival of Death and Dying was curated in an inclusive sensitive and person-centred way. Bookended at its opening and closing by ceremonies of searching and provoking music, ritual and installation, the 8 possible workshops over two full days offered world class discourse, conteplation, movement music and creativity. Heartfelt hurrah for and to curators presenters and hard working volunteers. You have created a platform for a courageous and amazing re-invention of the death and dying conversation." SR
"This Festival was challenging, absorbing, thought-provoking & heart - felt. It was a mix of experiential workshops, problem- solving, shared information & learning. I loved the creative arts perspective, the intellectual frameworks & sharing of experiences from people who were presenting, & those who attended the Festival. I felt the Festival de-stigmatised 'death' & engaged with a different perspective to address the complexity of 'death'. It demonstrated to me that death is, culturally, a social construction." FB
"Came with an open mind, left with an open heart. A lot of love, care and knowledge went into this festival. The presenters were high quality, experiential and very immersive. This festival encourages you to cherish every breath whilst you're on the planet because one day we'all all go and hopefully without regret. thanks for a great day."