Funeral Director’s, it’s a family business.
Troy Upfield and Liddy Upfield considered career changes that would make a difference to the community for a long time before Troy embarked on a new career in the funeral industry. After 23 years with investment bank Goldman Sachs, Troy gained experience as a funeral directors assistant and hearse driver and fell in love with an industry that has lacked honest care and compassion for a long time. Troy realised he, along with his family members could make a huge difference to the funeral industry.
Chapter House was created to offer bespoke funeral services, direct cremations, memorial services alongside traditional funerals. Chapter House has a modern look and feel and creates a boutique atmosphere at Head office in Kew, Melbourne.
Liddy’s career background was in small business management and human resources. Liddy’s sister Elyse Knight has also joined Chapter House bringing with her a wealth of experience in customer service and people care. William Upfield, Troy’s father brings years of experience in the funeral industry. His sister Tara Upfield is currently completing her Certificate IV in Celebrancy.
Chapter House is involved with many community organisations such as Kew Neighbourhood Learning Centre, SANDS Australia, SOLVE Disability Solutions and The Compassionate Friends, and also a major sponsor of the Power House Amateur Football Club.
Liddy, Elyse and Tara are passionate about children, with eleven children between them they understand family values and the importance of community. This is pivotal to Chapter House’s vision and goals to engage and be active in our local and broader communities.
Chapter House has the first Infant Hearse in Australia and specialises in caring for parents and families after an infant or young person has died.
Liddy said “our Novella service provides supportive guidance to families in need of funeral arrangements every step of the way. Most funeral directors look after the funeral service and families are left to talk to the cemetery about a final resting place. Chapter House offers parents a full concierge service, whether it be driving with a family to a cemetery to make arrangements before the funeral, to specialised bereavement counselling if required.”
Chapter House is very modern in its look, in comparison to other funeral homes in the industry, however, prides itself on going back to old school funeral directing service for families.
Troy said “Chapter House does not feel like a traditional funeral home with intention. We use digital displays to offer families their options, rather than the typical ‘coffin room’ which can be confronting and overwhelming. Our space is warm, inviting, classic with a modern edge, a place that is safe and not hurried.”
Liddy said “My message is to slow down. If you need time, you should be provided with options that allow this. Allow your funeral director to lead you, not control you through a difficult time.”
Many years ago, the funeral director was always identified by their name in the community. He or she was a person of trust and part of a family business you could rely on when needed. Corporate takeovers of the local family funeral homes had all but destroyed the local community’s funeral director. Over the last decade, InvoCare, Australia’s largest provider of funeral services and crematoriums, has taken over many family-owned funeral homes, this has led to years of community engagement, trust and integrity being purchased for corporate gain. We didn’t see it coming as most never think about funeral service, let alone the provider unless a loved one has passed. The amalgamation of small funeral homes took the industry away from the community while we went about our daily lives.
Troy said “Like you would know your local GP, you should at least know of your local funeral director; a good funeral director should make themselves known in their community by supporting such things as local events and sporting teams”.
Chapter House is privately owned and currently has arranging offices at 400 High Street, Kew and Level 27, 101 Collins Street, Melbourne. Future arranging offices are planned across Melbourne. All Chapter House offices are and will be operated by partners of Chapter House Funerals Pty Ltd.