The respected business leader Danny Casey was appointed as a governor and director of the Catholic Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust in 2017. The board oversees governance, strategic direction and provides support to the CEO and executive team of Catholic Cemeteries + Crematoria (CCC).
Whilst working at CCC, Danny has learnt just how special the mission is that has anchored the organisation for over 150 years. There are two elements that the board focus on; to support those grieving and respectfully bury the remains of loved ones and, implement planning to maintain memorial sites and ensure future burial space.
During his tenure, Danny has seen CCC grow substantially in terms of turnover and quality of service. CCC have also expanded the community events calendar and Grief Care services. Danny is particularly proud of “securing two future sites to support our works at Varroville and Wallacia and receiving DA approval for both locations.”
Danny believes “this is an extraordinary achievement” and something the former CEO Peter O’Meara worked “so hard for many years to see”. People would be surprised just “how long-term an operator must think and how much planning goes into building a cemetery and responding to changing societal needs.”
Despite population growth, the NSW government had not built a new cemetery in over 80 years, nor helped any operator to source new land. CCC recognised the critical shortage of burial space several years ago and is the only operator in metropolitan Sydney to secure new burial land.
The two DA approved cemeteries are the 113ha Macarthur Memorial Park in the Campbelltown area and the 44ha Nepean Gardens in the Penrith area. Construction commenced late in 2023 at Macarthur and will provide the people of south-west Sydney with a world-class memorial park that will include passive recreation, landscaped gardens and historical walkways for all to enjoy.
Danny has witnessed first-hand the care and professionalism of CCC’s people. CCC are not like other cemetery provider “We see our work as part of our mission, we are a not-for-profit organisation. Values are at the heart of everything that we do. We are driven by our mission in all our activities.”
He regularly receives feedback, from customers who have entrusted CCC to care for their loved ones, about the compassion of the Grief Care team and how CCC go the extra mile. It is “the rigour with which we approach planning and delivery of cemetery services. We don’t know the impact on people at the time, but we are there to support them. It is not just a transaction for us, we stand with people.”
Danny is proud of how CCC embraces communities and has engaged with over 200 groups including the Catholic, Muslim, Jewish, Orthodox and other faith groups to resolve their imminent shortage of burial space in line with their religious needs and burial practices. These “faith groups are so supportive that we champion for their end-of-life requirements and have a faith-based operator in the future.”
Danny said former CEO Peter O’Meara has been an unwavering advocate for CCC’s mission. “He recognised that CCC needed to support the practice of other faiths and those of no faith. He reached out to these groups and worked hard to understand their many requirements to ensure we embedded them in current practice and planned for them in all future initiatives.”
Danny’s father advised him early in his career to “never compromise principle for expediency”. Danny believes that by letting your values and principles guide your decisions and behaviour, you will do your best work. Danny is passionate about continuing CCC’s special mission into the future “It is not just a job, it’s a vocation to serve the community”.