Victoria Spence creates real and authentic experiences, powerful ceremony and lasting memories.

Victoria began as a Civil Celebrant in 2002 after 20 years of practice as an artist making theatre, performance and events. Victoria came to understand that in order to best support people through dying and death, she could do this by holding death and part of life.  Once a celebrant and a counsellor, she completed a Masters in Death, Dying and Palliative Care. Since 2001 she has worked and trained with Alice Cummins in the somatic practice, Body Mind Centering which she brings to this work. As a death doula and holistic funeral director, Victoria and Life Rites continue to pioneer collaborative relationships across the health system and funeral industry, cultural industries and community sectors.


Gavin Durbridge helps people at deeply vulnerable times in their lives.

Gavin started working in funerals in 2016 after studying linguistics at the University of Sydney. Starting as an assistant funeral director with a major funeral home in Sydney; Gavin worked his way through the front and back of house of the industry. He found great fulfilment in helping people celebrate the lives of their loved ones, but ultimately felt constrained by the narrow service offered on an industrial scale. In 2018 Gavin joined Life Rites in order to explore in greater depth the ways in which end of life professionals and holistic funeral directors can help us cope, grow and remember.


Leah Giblin makes beautiful shrouds that create beautiful memories.

Leah is a bespoke textile designer and artist with a focus on sustainability, recycling, waste reduction and non-chemical processes.  Leah’s Day Keeper label is designed and manufactured locally in Sydney, with a range of ‘slow’ fashion products and accessories. With Life Rites, Leah is applying these design principles to her new range of Day Keeper natural burial garments and shrouds. Using natural dyes, Leah offers a personalised process to make or decorate shrouds for yourself or someone you love.