Death industry: inside one of Australia’s biggest crematoriums

WARNING: Graphic content

THERE’S no escaping death.

Or as the great Benjamin Franklin once said: “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

An average of 159,000 people die in Australia each year, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

About 70 per cent of those in urban areas opt for cremation. The figure is about 56 per cent in non-urban areas.

The cremation process is one usually hidden from the general public. The sheer thought of it is something most people would prefer disappeared into a black hole.

But for many who work in the death industry it’s something they stare in the face multiple times a day.

Crematorium operator David Bennett has been working at the NSW Northern Suburbs Memorial Gardens and Crematorium, the second oldest in Australia, for three years. He arrives on the job in the Sydney suburb of Ryde every weekday at 6am.

“We’ve done 357,000 plus cremations since it opened in 1933,” Mr Bennett told news.com.au.