July Networking Event

ENE July

How do you deal with grief & death in business?

The Business of Death

Death is an unavoidable part of life – and of business. Many of us keep it in the shadows, preferring to think or talk about death and grief only when we absolutely have to. But if we are to navigate these issues well when they inevitably arise in our business, shouldn’t we be more prepared?

At the other end of the spectrum are those who have carved out profitable niches in the area of death. What’s it like to launch and grow a business in a sector that people don’t even want to acknowledge?

At this interactive panel event, hosted by Death Dinner Party founder Ruby Lohman, we’ll talk to four successful business owners about their unique experiences in the business of death and grief – and why it’s far from doom and gloom.

We’ll explore why it’s so hard to talk openly about death, and how we can get better at having these conversations – in the workplace and beyond. You’ll also have the opportunity to share your own experiences and workshop any current or past issues with expert insight from our panelists.

Panel Host Ruby Lohman – Death Dinner Party
Warren Roberts – Living Legacy Forest
Annie Bolitho – Kinship Ritual
Jessie Williams – The GroundSwell Project
Dr. Pia Interlandi – www.piainterlandi.com

Panel Speaker Details

Ruby Lohman

Panel Host – Ruby Lohman
Death Dinner Party

The Business of Death

Death, dying and grief can be hard to talk about. But if we are to navigate these issues well when they inevitably arise in our business, shouldn’t we be more prepared? At this interactive panel event, we’ll talk to four successful business owners who have carved out a niche in the business of death – and love what they do. Together we’ll explore why it’s so hard to talk openly about death, how we can get better at it, and how to deal with these issues in our business.

Ruby Lohman is the co-founder of Death Dinner Party, a series of events in Sydney and Melbourne designed to bring people together over good food and wine to talk – and learn – about death. It’s also a growing content hub, providing resources and supported spaces that aim to empower and inspire. Ruby is also a freelance writer and editor, journalist and funeral director’s stepdaughter. The first car she ever drove was a hearse. She has long been fascinated by death and funerals, and believes it’s time to reclaim the knowledge and rituals we’ve given away to institutions, and re-learn how to die and grieve well.


Annie Bolitho

Annie Bolitho
Kinship Ritual

Kinship Ritual

Kinship Ritual curates niche funerals and offers end of life planning in Melbourne. We supportfamily-led ceremonies and community-based arrangements. We offer half-day workshops for professionals who face death, grief and loss ‘Death Matters’ and contribute to the Death Cafe movement through 4 Death Cafes a year in Melbourne on solstices and equinoxes.

Annie Bolitho is a facilitator, educator and end of life consultant at Kinship Ritual. She helps people to take charge of their end of life arrangements and have great funerals. Annie has a Doctorate of Creative Arts and a strong interest in ritual, ceremony and writing. With long experience facilitating conversations that matter, she helps people to have realistic dialogue when facing the emotional terrain of death and having to take practical decisions. Annie practices in the Soto Zen tradition with the Jikishoan Zen Buddhist Community.


Dr Pia Interlandi

Dr. Pia Interlandi
Natural Death Advocacy Network

Natural Death Advocacy Network

NDAN is an 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 organisation advocating holistic approaches to dying and death through independent research and action. We provide individuals, families and communities with professional, creative and informed assistance to choose meaningful, humane and ecological pathways at the end of life.

Garments For The Grave

Garments for the Grave are sensitively designed, biodegradable and customisable clothes that will carry you from this world into the next. The fashioning of these garments prepares you for death in a way that is natural, creative and beautiful.

Dr. PIA INTERLANDI is a fashion designer holding a PhD in Architecture and Design from RMIT University, where in 2013 she completed her doctoral study [A]Dressing Death: Fashioning Garments for the Grave. A full time academic in the School of Fashion and Textiles at RMIT, she also freelances as a Creative Ritual Facilitator within the funeral industry.

In 2014 she co-founded the Natural Death Advocacy Network (NDAN), and has served as it’s Chair since its formation. Pia is also is an ambassador for Dying2Know Day and a member of the Order of the Good Death. She has spent over a decade years immersing herself into the funeral industry, including 2 years working at the award winning Clandon Wood Natural Burial Ground in the UK where she was involved in over 100 Natural Burials and funerals. In 2013 she was featured in an ABC Artscape Anatomy documentary called ‘Soul’ in which she worked with her first Garments For the Grave client. In 2014 she was nominated and came runner up at the Good Funeral Awards for the Most Significant Contribution to the Understanding of Death. In 2017 she was commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York for a Little Black (Death) Dress, emphasising the importance of dressing and touch at the end of life.


Warren Roberts

Warren Roberts
Living Legacy Forest

Living Legacy Forest was founded in Melbourne in 2013 and is a leader in green memorialisation reforestation. They have successfully created 3 dedicated Living memorial forests in Altona, Lillydale and Fawkner. Unlike scattering and burying ashes with biodegradable urns the Living Legacy Process detoxifies ashes so they are not harmful to soil and tree health.

Warren Roberts is the CEO and founder of Living Legacy Forest an innovative profit for purpose company which is creating urban memorial forests by turning peoples ashes into living memorial forests.

He is an eccentric, visionary entreepreneur that believes we can reforest the planet by becoming trees instead of cemeteries.

With the Living Legacy treatment we can return human ashes to the earth without causing harm to the eco-system. We do this because ashes have the same pH oven cleaner and contain a large amount of salt; which is around 200-2,000 times too high for most trees.

Our organic process gradually transforms the harmful elements into nutrients that help trees grow so a persons ashes can live on through trees.


Jessie Williams

Jessie Williams
The GroundSwell Project

The GroundSwell Project

The GroundSwell Project is an international leader in death literacy, and has been at the forefront of cultural change around death and dying in Australia. We are passionate innovators focused on systemic long-term change through working at the grass roots in community and across the aged and health care sector. We commission research and deliver capacity-building programs aimed at building grass-roots activism to re-claim ageing and dying. We run the Dying to Know Day campaign each year, which brings to life conversations and social actions around death, dying and loss and are developing a world first Death Literacy Index with our partners at Western Sydney University.

Executive Officer The GroundSwell Project
Jessie heads up The GroundSwell Project, a social change organisation committed to creating a more death literate society, one where people and communities have the practical know-how needed to plan well for end of life. This means shifting focus from ‘talking about it’ to transforming this ‘difficult’ conversation into one of deep community engagement, social action and empowerment. Jessie is responsible for driving the growth and partnerships for social impact around end of life and supports the delivery of major projects and programs. As a learning entrepreneur, she works across commercial business, non-government organisations and social enterprises co-creating programs for social change.


Wed 18th July 2018

Time: 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm


$30 for Adults
$25.50 for MFG Business Members or Students
Book Tickets Event has passed.
Tickets includes: – Access to an evening of networking and mentoring – Light catering and soft drinks – coffee and tea.

Door Prizes

Automatic entry to go into a draw to win a free ticket to our next networking event.
• On the night bring your business card to go into a draw to win “Emergent”, Stephen Scott Johnson latest book.


6:00 – 6:30pm: Checkin, Casual Conversations
6:30 – 8:00pm: The Conversation: A Panel
8:00 – 8:30pm: Casual networking


Youth Projects (next to Good2Go Cafe)
7-9 Hosier Lane,
corner Rutledge Lane.
Between Russell and Swanston Streets, Melbourne*

*Due to unexpected circumstances we cannot longer run our monthly events at TDI and therefore had to look for an alternative venue in Melbourne. The venue we managed to secure is the premises of Youth Projects an organisations that works towards supporting the homeless and disadvantages. It is located in the colourful Hosier Lane Melbourne, but does not have lifts and there is no disability access (we apologise in advance in this instance)

Who are we?

moral fairground evolve with us
Moral Fairground is devoted to promoting sustainable and fair trade business practices. Our mission to educate, inspire and encourage people to make choices that will have a positive impact on the world, the environment and the people we share it with.

Charity Partner


the toxic fox
The Toxic Fox Show is a podcast for conscious business owners who give a damn! About the impact their business has on you and future generations. The interviews are conversations with entrepreneurs who run a business that aims to have a positive impact on the world. The second season will be recorded and released this year.
The Difference Incubator TDi
The Difference Incubator (TDi) is our Venue partner. TDi fundamentally believes that if you’re passionate about seeing change in the world, building businesses where social and financial returns are aligned is the best way to achieve it. Through our method we seek to build better businesses with alternative, sustainable revenue streams, ultimately helping us crack entrenched social and environmental challenges.
Qi Teas
Qi Tea is an award-winning Fair Trade brand that specialises in organic, Fairtrade functional teas. Each variety contains an array of herbs, carefully blended for taste and balance.
If you are a retailer wanting to stock delicious, organic and Fair Trade teas or if you are personally wanting to purchase some, click here.

Upcoming Events in 2018


Event TBA

Stay tuned for event details.


Event TBA

Stay tuned for event details.

What is the ethical network event series?

A business networking event for leaders and entrepreneurs to connect, collaborate and discuss their ethical business practices.

The ethical network event series is a unique opportunity to form business relationships with like-minded leaders and new ethical entrepreneurs. Each event is an educational and networking event, an opportunity to come together in a relaxed environment to meet and network with other like-minded businesses and individuals. It is a chance to celebrate the skills, passion and diversity of the ethical business network and recognise the achievements of the business leaders who are driving social and ethical business movement and the social economy. The event creates networking opportunities for Ethical SMEs. We embrace this business community through networking, professional development and coaching opportunities in an intimate and informative environment.

Want to get involved?

If you would like to get involved as a speaker, running a workshop, host a panel discussion or a debate at the Ethical Network Events, we look forward to hearing from you. By participating as a speaker in this event you will have the opportunity to share your own experiences and skills as well as allocated time to network with attendees. Feel free to get in touch.

Get the Presenters’ Info Pack

Past Networking Events 2018

Past Networking Events 2017

Past Networking Events 2016

• Speakers: Stephanie Woollard

AUGUST 2016 FRI 26th PDF
• Speakers: Kim Pearce

MAY 2016 WED 20th PDF
• Speakers: Vinita Baravkar

APRIL 2016 WED 20th PDF
• Speakers: Louisa & Matt Tew

MARCH 2016 WED 16th PDF
• Speaker: Melanie Raymond
Not for Profit Definitions PDF
Youth Projects PDF