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Community Advisory Committee

A sub-committee of the GMCT, the Community Advisory Committee plays an important advisory role on consumer views relating to service governance, service planning and development.

Our Community Advisory Committee members

The Community Advisory Committee is an advisory committee that helps GMCT ensure that community and consumer views are considered in the planning and delivery of our services. The Committee also provides advice relating to the integration of consumer and community views at all levels of cemetery trust operations, planning and policy development.

The Community Advisory Committee is composed of three Trust members Elizabeth Beattie (Acting Chair of the Committee), Katerina Angelopoulos and David Cragg, and the following eight community members.


Anita Rivera

"There's something almost magical that happens when a group of people from a range of backgrounds focus on doing good work together. The sum is definitely greater than its parts. It's an honour to be able to contribute to the CAC, and in turn the Trust, to support better relationships with the communities they serve."

Anita has more than 20 years of experience working in communications, focusing on community engagement, health communications and crisis management. One of the major initiatives Anita is working on is embedding cultural safety into the health system to achieve health equity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. In recent years, Anita has also started teaching Masters students Strategic Marketing and Communications at Melbourne University.

Anita works closely with patient advocates and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health experts and peak bodies to support access to quality healthcare for patients. She also works closely with health professions members, health services, professional peak bodies and special interest groups nationally to support good health practice.


Cindy Plowman

“The most rewarding aspect of being on the Community Advisory Committee for me is learning about a completely new industry and service area. Understanding how an organisation’s decisions are made and how possible impacts on the community are managed. The most important aspect of being a Committee member is helping to improve and shape opportunities for communities and clients to be involved in GMCT’s decisions, and working with the administration team to refine processes, embed community engagement and participation opportunities earlier in the project planning.”

A background in community and stakeholder engagement has led Cindy to successfully deliver programs across a wide range of government and non-government organisations and community and urban development sectors. Cindy’s skill set includes social infrastructure planning, engagement, research analysis and evaluation. She also has worked with companies in the environment and planning industries to rebuild their social licence to operate after a systems failure or contamination. Cindy holds an Advanced Diploma of Facilitation, Master Social Science Environment and Planning, Certified in IAP2.

Cindy maintains connections through community engagement and social planning, including IAP2, IAF and Engaged to Act. She enjoys rowing, surf lifesaving and hiking among other interests. Through this, Cindy has connections with Lifesaving Victoria, Rowing Victoria and Bushwalking Victoria.


Hannah Gould

“The most rewarding aspect of my role on the Committee is hearing the diverse perspectives of my fellow members and the communities they represent and then working together to centre these ideas within GMCT policy. It’s a wonderful opportunity to reflect on how important spaces of mourning and remembrance are to our communities within Victoria.”     

Hannah Gould is a cultural anthropologist and currently works as Assessment Research Centre (ARC) research fellow at The University of Melbourne with the DeathTech Research Team. In this role, she researches social changes and new technologies shaping the future of death and dying in Australia and Asia.

Through her work with community organisations like Language Connection and international student groups at The University of Melbourne, Hannah has built strong connections with multicultural and multi-faith organisations in Victoria. Her research work has also led her to form close ties to the ‘death literacy’ and ‘natural burial’ social movements across Australia and internationally.


Joseph Haweil

“While death is sadly a part of the everyday experience, for families in the community, this period is one of bereavement and grief. I strongly value the opportunity to raise the perspectives that community members share with me, hoping that they may help optimise and support GMCT's important work. I have also used the opportunity to provide insights on GMCT's services to community members and linked them to the organisation for updates and information, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Joseph’s professional background is in the federal public service and local government, including roles as a local government Councillor and Mayor at Hume City Council. He is a graduate of the University of Melbourne at the postgraduate level in political science, history and international relations, and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Joseph has extensive community links and networks across the social, educational, religious, multicultural and charitable sectors in Melbourne through his role as a local government Councillor and Mayor. He is particularly active in Australia's Assyrian community where he has held numerous roles. Joseph is especially interested in supporting new and emerging communities and, through his local government role, advocating for residents' needs in outer metropolitan growth areas, including for end-of-life services. Joseph believes the Community Advisory Committee is an important forum to share community perspectives on GMCT's work in delivering end of life services.


Justine Hadj

Over the course of Justine’s career, she has held several roles in the property and construction industry, demonstrating a broad spectrum of knowledge across multiple areas of development and construction. More recently, Justine has cofounded her own construction company called Peach. In her spare time, Justine runs Gazella, a publication showcasing women’s success stories, unpacking the current climate and addressing topical issues. The publication celebrates the contributions of women by presenting their experiences, opinions, advice and insight about the industry.


Susan Parsons

"Being part of GMCT's Community Advisory Committee enables me to contribute to good outcomes of GMCT service delivery."

Bringing to the Community Advisory Committee significant experience in executive officer positions on a range of boards and committees, Susan’s professional background is in the managing and delivery of government and not-for-profit community services. She has a Graduate Diploma Arts (Monash University), Graduate Diploma Management and Masters Degree Public Sector Management (Victoria University). Susan has significant experience in contract and grant management, risk management, change management, strategic planning, social planning, community development and advocacy, particularly regarding the delivery of cemetery, aged, disability, family, youth and children's services. When raising her four children in Melbourne's western region, Susan was involved in local school, community and sporting group committees.

Tania De Carli CAC headshot

Tania De Carli

“Being part of GMCT’s Community Advisory Committee means I am involved in the final care and peaceful resting place of all people. This is rewarding because I believe that the significance of human life as individuals does not diminish in significance following death. Given the known statistics of our ageing population together with our diverse cultural and religious demographics, it is vital the GMCT continues to evolve to the changing needs of communities and in particular, the bereaved. It is an honour to contribute to enriching this experience.”

Tania’s background includes local government, not-for-profit and membership organisations. Her specialties lie in the delivery of complex projects, governance, risk and corporate services that facilitate the achievement of strategic and business objectives, and stakeholder management and event management. With involvement in local councils, her current employer IPAA Victoria, the Maltese community, her children’s school community and local church community, she has a broad reach network of community groups and organisations.


Tash Rahalkar

"I am passionate about exploring how community organisations can truly become citizen-centric and support the needs of an evolving Victorian community. Being a part of GMCT’s CAC has given me an opportunity to support the people in a very challenging time by helping them duly honour and cherish the memories of their loved ones. It has been my privilege to do my part in helping Victorians and their legacies to live on. "

Tash has over 15 years experience working across diverse organisations in the corporate, private and public sector organisations in Australia and overseas. With extensive experience in driving growth and building brands through strategic marketing and communications, customer experience, product development and digital innovation programs.

Currently State Trustee's Head of Product, Brand and Partnerships, her responsibilities include identifying and implementing customer experience and stakeholder engagement initiatives. This enables State Trustees to be in the best position to deliver public benefit and deepen relationships with Victorian communities, particularly vulnerable individuals.

Tash was awarded for Marketing Excellence, Australian Marketing Institute 2013 - Victorian Winner and National Finalist in two categories for the State Trustees Legal Will Kit Campaign.