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Kapiti funeral director best in the class

Oct 9th, 2008 | By | Category: Latest News, News

PARAPARAUMU’s Diane Brady can count herself one of the country’s best funeral directors after topping the class in the national certificate.

She took the prize for top student at the National Certificate in Funeral Directing taught at Wellington’s WelTech.

Mrs Brady started her new career as a funeral director after a 12-year career in the public service, and 10 years at home raising children.

“I believe that education is life-long,” she said. “This to me was like a second career. It just shows you can challenge yourself at any stage of your life.”

She said the work feels more like a privilege than a job, and she cannot imagine doing anything else: “Being allowed to share grief while gently guiding a family through their darkest moments is truly an honour.”

Although funeral directing can be a very stressful job, it is balanced for her by the family friendly work environment she has at the Kapiti Coast Funeral Home.

The top student award was obtained through exams, assignments, and presentation: “We had to role-play an interview, and had to present in front of a panel on a particular subject.” 

Mrs Brady’s topic was clinical supervision, and she chose a humorous approach by slapping labels on herself, describing the pressure from her different roles as funeral director, mother and wife,.

A transcript of the presentation was published in the Funeral Care magazine.

The 15-month course at WelTec requires students to attend block courses, complete assignments, and maintain a logbook of activities ranging from lining caskets through to directing funerals.

Programme manager Mike Wolffram says the essential thing about funeral work is working with people.

“Diane’s got a particular blend of warmth and ethics. She’s got a really good grasp of the underpinning theories, together with a practical approach.”
The 13 course attendees came from Whangarei to Invercargill, from all walks of life, with ages ranging from early twenties to early fifties.

Funeral Directors Association secretary Robyn Grooby said although the funeral industry is unregulated by government, the association set up the Funeral Service Training Trust in 1991.

It is now an industry training organisation and offers three funeral services qualifications, all of which are recognised by the NZ Qualifications Authority. As well as the national certificate, there is a certificate in embalming and a diploma in funeral directing.

PICTURES:  Top: Diane Brady puts a lining in a new coffin at Kapiti Funeral Home. Below: Diane receives her certificate from Funeral Directors Association of NZ president Neil Little during her graduation in Christchurch.

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is a Whitireia Journalism student.
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