Structure and governance

All cemetery and crematoria operators in NSW should function in a consistent, transparent and accountable manner. To achieve this, we provide guidance on statutory obligations, best practice governance, and monitor compliance and community service responsibilities.

For more information, view the Cemeteries and Crematoria Act 2013.

CCNSW Board and Crown cemetery trusts

CCNSW is led by a statutory board appointed by and responsible to the Hon. Paul Toole MP, Minister for Lands and Forestry and Minister for Racing.


The Board has four voting members, including the Chair Dr Stepan Kerkyasharian AO, and seven non-voting members.

The three other voting members are Abigail Goldberg, Scott Hawker and Christopher Zinn.

The seven non-voting board members include representatives from:

  • Department of Industry—Lands & Water
  • Department of Planning and Environment
  • NSW Fair Trading
  • NSW Health
  • Office of Environment and Heritage
  • A local government expert

A specialist business unit of Department of Industry—Lands & Water employees, led by Chief Executive Officer, Catherine Manuel, supports the board and enables CCNSW to carry out its functions.

Consultative groups

The board has established two consultative groups to ensure consistent engagement and communication with the interment industry and community: Industry Consultative Group and Community and Consumer Consultative Group.

Crown cemetery trusts

Crown cemetery trusts, appointed and regulated under the Crown Lands Act 1989 and the Cemeteries and Crematoria Act 2013 and accountable to CCNSW, operate many facilities across Sydney.

There are five large Crown cemetery trusts operating in Greater Metropolitan Sydney.  They are:

Catholic Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust

Managed by: Catholic Cemeteries Board, Chaired by the Hon Greg Smith SC

Rookwood General Cemeteries Reserve Trust

Managed by: Mr Jason Masters, Administrator

Rookwood Necropolis Trust

Managed by: Trust Board comprising the following members: Mr David Harley (Chair), Mr Peter O’Meara and Mr George Simpson.

Northern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust

Managed by: Trust Board comprising the following members: Prof John Hewson AO (Chair), Mr John McCarthy AO, Mr Bob Birchall, Ms Leah Fricke, Ms Margaret Conley, Mr David Johnson, Ms Kris Hume and Mr Peter Owens.

Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust

Managed by: Trust Board comprising the following members: Tony Simpson (Chair), Anthony Lee, Joanne Muller, Carol Provan, Steve McDowall, Maria Cosmidis  and Jenny Davis.

There are many additional operators responsible for the management of cemeteries on Crown land across NSW, including smaller Crown cemetery trusts and local government operators, which are listed in the CCNSW Cemeteries and Crematoria Register.