Pia is a fashion designer, funeral celebrant and death practitioner who creates meaningful rituals around the dressing and care of the deceased.
Pia began her journey into the funeral industry through somewhat winding paths having initially gained degree in fashion design. She often incorporated death as a scientific and psychological concept for exploring life’s transient qualities and while this was the instigator for her PhD studies at RMIT, it was when she dressed her grandfather for his funeral in 2008 that she became interested in the realities of death and became a qualified funeral celebrant.
Involving rigorous immersion in the rituals associated with preparing the body for interment she started her current practice Garments for the Grave in 2012 where she now designs custom made bio-degradable burial shrouds and performs dressings with the family of the dead. This practice has been the launch pad from which to discuss broader issues around our cultural relationship with death. She regularly gives lectures and runs workshops, receiving praise both nationally and internationally. In 2013 she was nominated for ‘The Most Significant Contribution to the Understanding of Death’ at Good Funeral Awards in the UK.
She was a core member of the team Clandon Wood Natural Burial Reserve for 18 months where she gained an understanding of the fundamentals of Natural Burial so that she could bring them back to her home in Melbourne.
She now balances her practice with regular teaching into RMIT’s School of Fashion and Textiles and is delighted to be the President and founding member of the Natural Death Advocacy Network.