NDAN is an acronym for Natural Death Advocacy Network.
We are a growing Australian network and advocacy partnership of community facilitators, professionals, activists and educators working to enrich the experience of dying and death.
Our aim is to create an informative, innovative and transparent organization advocating holistic approaches to dying and death through independent research and action. Our main areas of advocacy include death education, funeral planning, family lead funeral care, natural burial and bereavement care.
We provide individuals, families and communities with professional, creative and informed assistance to choose meaningful, humane and ecological pathways at the end of life.
MEET OUR COMMITTEE:
Rebecca Lyons - President
Rebecca Lyons, mother of one, hails from the Blue Mountains in NSW. She started her working career in Sydney before making the move to Tasmania in late 2006.
Over her career she has worked in various industries including finance, real estate and the law but in 2011, she found her path into the funeral industry and stayed there until mid-2017 working across the many roles offered in the contemporary funeral industry; including pre planning, administration, mortuary, funeral arranging and directing. Retraining as an End of Life Doula and becoming an independent Funeral Director she has worked in home based death care and family led funerals ever since.
Bec has also been actively working to advance the mission of You n’ Taboo which is the education and advocacy service she co-founded with her partner in 2016.
Most recently Bec was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to undertake international research and report on changes and disruptions in the end of life space which saw her travel through 6 countries exploring alternatives to contemporary ceremony and body disposal. A link to her report can be found by clicking here.
In her spare time, she enjoys reading, writing, photography, camping and travel but what makes her most contented is time with her family. The subjects of death and dying, natural burial and the DIY approach to death care are her passion and she loves being out in the community raising awareness and promoting good honest conversations, she is a dedicated advocate for positive change.
Heidi has worn many hats in her working life: nurse, Auslan interpreter, teacher, and counsellor for rural youth. The 2019/2020 bushfires on Kangaroo Island flicked a switch as Heidi witnessed the raw strength and capacity of community. Tired of the endless treadmill of outsourcing services to the mainland, Heidi saw a deep need to bring death care back into the community’s embrace – and founded KI Doula Services in response to the existential crisis that was all around her.
After further study with Griffith University, and intensive training as an end-of-doula and funeral guide, Heidi now partners with Kath Bald, who established Island Holistic Funerals, the only local funeral provider on the island. Both businesses work closely with Kangaroo Island Health Services to deliver the full range of end-of-life guidance, education and support on KI.
Heidi is a strong advocate and facilitator for home-based death care, and family lead burials on private rural holdings. Buoyed by the community, she is quietly working to establish a conservation burial ground on the remote western end of Kangaroo Island and is thrilled to be involved in NDAN, an organisation she sees are clearly leading the change in Australia.
Jess Xavier - Vice President
Jess has worked on communications, advocacy and fundraising campaigns in environmental and humanitarian organisations for over seven years. She enjoys combining storytelling with research to connect people to ideas and with one another, and to bring about positive change in the world.
Jess is currently completing an Honours in Communications, exploring - via podcast and radio - the ways in which holistic approaches to death and dying both reflect and shape ecological sensibilities and affirm our relationship to our more-than-human kin. She’s delighted to be part of NDAN, to promote meaningful choices at end of life for communities and families.
Jo has a passion for assisting individuals navigate life's most challenging transitions. With a career spanning multiple fields, she has gained a wealth of experience and expertise.
One of Jo's most significant accomplishments is her qualifications in Grief Education and Celebrancy. Since 2010, she has been a devoted celebrant, specializing in end-of-life ceremonies and support. Her passion for end-of-life care, natural burials, and empowered decision-making at this critical juncture of life has been unwavering. She is dedicated to creating authentic and meaningful ceremonies and rituals, providing solace and support to individuals and families during their times of grief.
In 2023, Jo self-published a Grief guide, which has become a valuable resource for those seeking guidance and understanding during the early days of the grieving process. Her commitment to grief education and support extends beyond her celebrancy work, as she is deeply committed to empowering people to navigate the complex and emotional journey of loss.
Jo is thrilled to be part of the NDAN committee career as it mirrors her dedication and desire to make a positive impact on the planet and the lives of those she encounters; empowering individuals through education and support.
Phone: 02 97380041
Fiona has volunteered and worked for a number of marine conservation and environmental organisations throughout her property career. Fiona was a full-time volunteer for Sea Shepherd for nearly three years - she went on four dangerous campaigns including three anti-whaling campaigns in Antarctica and the Faroe Islands and was media promoter for the discovery channel show called Whale Wars.
Fiona's life project now is establishing the first conservation burial ground in Australia which will have 100% natural burials. The Bodalla Conservation Burial will create 20ha of protected forest ecosystem. She strives to make conservation natural burials the number one choice for all Australians due to it being the most beneficial end-of-life choice for the planet and wildlife.
Dee Stokes - Secretary
Danielle Stokes (Dee) is not only a Senior Administration Officer at University of Tasmania but she is a person dedicated to making positive change, in the world and in herself.
Dee worked in various law firms and in different administrative positions, worked in finance and bookkeeping while she was studying and graduated in 2011 with a Bachelor of Business. She began working for UTAS and became senior staff, and has gone on to expand her skills with a Graduate Certificate of Counselling, .
In line with her desire to make a difference in the world, Dee has been a member of Hobart Toastmasters since 2016, taking a lead role as President of the club in 2018. She has also volunteered with the Salvation Army, Loui’s Van, the Menzies Research Institute, Sustainable Living Tasmania, the Migrant Education Program, Khedrupje Buddhist Centre and she has completed an internship with Golden Door Australia. More recently Dee has completed Lifeline Crisis Support Training and became a Mental Health First Aid Officer and Instructor.
Dee is based in her home State of Tasmania but has also lived and worked interstate and overseas.
It was the experience of journeying with her twin sister as she was dying that led Dee to confront her fears and step into the end of life space and show up – to be a support and carer when it was needed. Over a year on, Dee now intends on stepping further into this work and wants to bring her vast skills and knowledge to NDAN, to help others grown their death literacy and find out about natural options.
Hayley West's socially engaged art practice relates to a lived awareness of death and memorial, working with sculpture, video, performance, and installation. Her practice spans over 20 years of research, exhibitions, and residencies internationally and nationally. Her current project DEAD AIR is a weekly, live radio show on community radio station 94.9MAINfm in Castlemaine, Central Victoria. DEAD AIR has been nominated twice as a finalist in the CBAA (Community Broadcasting Association of Australia) Awards: Best New Show 2022 & Excellence in Innovative Programming and Content 2023.
Public speaking, interviews and publications include: Lifting the Lid Festival, Goldfields Gothic Festival of Dark Ideas, Redesigning Deathcare Conference, Dying to Know Day, Goldfields Libraries, Castlemaine State Festival, La Trobe Art Institute, CARE Symposium, Melbourne Festival of Death and Dying, Emerging Writer’s Festival, Pecha Kucha; ABC Central Victoria, Life Matters Radio National, 3RRR, MAINfm, The Guardian, SMH, The Age; Peppermint magazine, Bendigo magazine.
Hayley has been a member of the Natural Death Advocacy Network since 2018, co-hosted Death Cafés (2014-22), a contributor to the Victorian arm of the Australian Home Funeral Alliance, and was previously a General Member of the Historical Castlemaine Cemetery Trust (2018-22). She has also just accepted the role of a General Member on the NDAN Committee, and as Vice President on the MAINfm Committee. She is a single mother to a teenager and staffy, currently works at La Trobe University Library and is embracing the newly discovered label of 'multipotentialite'.
With over 40 years of nursing experience and post-graduate qualifications in palliative care, I have a great passion for supporting those at the end of life and have long nurtured a deep desire to open up discussions around death, dying, and end-of-life issues, believing that this contains enormous possibilities for living more fully and richly. I work now in the field of Palliative Care in North East Victoria.
The past few years have provided several personal experiences for end of life support, culminating in the death of my husband in June 2019. This deeply personal exploration of the mystery of dying, death and grief have given me great insight into the challenges, nuances, and opportunities in this space.
Along with my colleague Nicole Stephens at End Stage Matters, we offer End of Life Doula services, Advance Care Planning workshops, and other events such as Death Cafes, podcasts and a theatre piece about ACP.
NDAN provides me with an opportunity for me to have a positive influence and contribute to our cultural reclamation of natural dying and natural death.
Phone : 0422318149
Website : endstagematters.com