Tender funerals Mid North Coast

Tender Funerals Mid North Coast Board of Directors 

Denis Juelicher

Director/ Project Activator 

Denis has worked in a variety of roles in the community sector, business and local Government. Her professional life has focused on community development, community engagement, marketing, event management and environmental education. Her care for community and environmental sustainability runs deep and expresses itself in her involvement in a range of community projects. Denis is an entrepreneur who has set up her business, The Yoga Shala, as well as a number of not- for-profit organisations, such as the Green Day Out (sustainability expo), The Lost Plot (community garden) and Ekam Yoga Festival on the NSW Mid North Coast. She completed a Death Midwifery training with Dr. Michael Barbado in 2018.

Janet Geronimi

Director/ Chair

Janet has had diverse roles in both public and independent sectors in the areas of education, administration, registration and compliance at executive level for over 30 years.  Janet brings to Tender Funerals qualifications and experience in education, project management, HR, administration management and compliance.  Janet lives on the Mid North Coast and is committed to contributing to her local community, using her skills to assist in positive community engagement and change.

Relle Hart

Director/ Secretary 

Relle has held administrative and office management roles in the private and community sector. Relle took a sideways step into more people-oriented roles in the community mental health sector as a program coordinator and manager. She has been involved in the Independent education system as a parent and has held a number of board roles in that system. She has an entrepreneurial streak and has dabbled in self-employment at various intervals. Currently, she is owner/operator of a service offering end-of-life planning and support, digital storytelling, community education and is an advocate/facilitator of DIY funerals. Relle brings a passion for reclaiming death, dying and grieving, alongside a range of administrative, communication and design skills to the table, as well as a healthy community spirit.

Janice Saunders

Public Officer

Janice, a local in Port Macquarie, found her passion for working in holistic after-death care when she worked at a commercial funeral business.  Janice deeply understands the importance of compassionate death care and brings this passion for working ethically with families who have experienced the death of someone loved to Tender Funerals.  Janice has been a successful long-time business owner in Port Macquarie which means she has a wealth of business knowledge, particularly in customer relations, human resources and management.

John Oxley 

Director/ Treasurer 

John comes to us with a wealth of professional experience as a Chartered Accountant with a master’s degree in business leadership. Over his career, John has held senior and executive positions in large firms and with taxation in South Africa. John has extensive experience in financial management, corporate tax, business advisory, compliance and loans. Adding to his array of impressive skills, John also brings to Tender Funerals an incredible amount of experience as a board member having sat on a number of boards over the years.  John values openness and transparency and his interest in being part of the Tender board comes down to these values and a belief that funerals should be affordable for everyone.


Maria Doherty


Originally an Irish Marine Biologist, Maria’s interests have moved from Irish fish to Australian humans! A keen strategist and influencer, Maria has the unique ability to engage collaboratively with all types of stakeholders to achieve positive cultural change and beneficial outcomes. For much of her career Maria has worked in senior leadership positions within the private sector, state and local government, navigating strict environmental legislation and professionally managing complex portfolios and large teams.

Maria has published several scientific articles for marine research and developed numerous environmental, waste and safety strategies for local government, private and state corporations. Director of several Port Macquarie based NFP Boards, Executive Officer of MidWaste Regional Group, Maria is also involved in many community sustainability initiatives and continues to educate about the benefits of natural resources and community engagement whenever and wherever she can.

Kate Forrest


 Kate has worked for local government for the past 18.5 years, most recently as Marketing and Programs Librarian at Port Macquarie Library. She brings administrative and marketing skills, and experience in developing and coordinating community programs, events, and partnerships. 

She is passionate about supporting and fostering community connections, empowerment, and education. Kate is deeply interested in the easing of individual, community and global suffering and disconnection. She is excited to be part of Tender Funerals Mid North Coast and envisions it will significantly and positively impact how we as a community experience and process death and grieving. She holds a Graduate Diploma of Applied Science (Library & Information Management) and teaches meditation and mindfulness.

Funding Partners

In February 2020 Tender Funerals Mid North Coast received funding from the Vasudhara Foundation to engage a project activator for 6 months to accelerate the process of establishing a Tender Funerals franchise on the Mid North Coast. Denis Juelicher, who has taken on this role, has significant community development and project management experience, working in both voluntary and paid positions, on projects such as The Lost Plot Community Garden, The Green Day Out Inc. and Ekam Yoga Festival. Since that time, Tender Funerals Mid North Coast has incorporated as a not-for-profit organisation with an established a board of directors. The board has, with the support of Tender Australia and Social Ventures Australia, secured finance from Social Enterprise Finance Australia (SEFA) and a considerable grant from the Vincent Family Fairfax Foundation. Land in Wauchope’s industrial area has been purchased and a home for Tender Funerals Mid North Coast has begun. Tender Funerals Mid North Coast continues to engage with the community and community services organisations in the region and raise funds to establish the franchise. Tender Funerals has set the goal of being operational in early 2022.