A South Coast council has become the first in NSW to approve a cemetery where people can be buried in the way they have for thousands of years.
She discovered that one of the permissible uses for her family's Bodalla property was a cemetery.
Ms McCuaig said people want an alternative to conventional burials and cremations and the idea of being buried in a bushland environment that will be protected in perpetuity was appealing.
Ms McCuaig's natural burial ground will act as a conservation project because a tree will be planted where each body is buried to become a forest in perpetuity.
She will focus on planting banksias to provide habitat for black cockatoos.
"People say they want to be buried in the ground with a tree planted so that their last act is something good for the planet, not another negative scar.
"It is beautiful to put them back into the soil to create fungi, microbes and organisms that fertilise the soil and support trees and other flora and fauna," Ms McCuaig said.
Bodies would be buried in a biodegradable shroud or coffin.
Instead of headstones and plaques, a memorial wall will have obituaries and GPS codes to locate the burial site.
Ms McCuaig sees potential for people to have more say and more active participation in the burial process if they want.
For example they could make a shroud from someone's clothing or have the body at home for a few days if that helps the grieving process.
Ultimately the natural burial ground will be "a beautiful place in nature to visit and a celebration of life.
"We are really trying to do it the way we have been doing it for 99 percent of our existence which is putting bodies back into the ground as a resting place for future life," Ms McCuaig said.
Eurobodalla Shire Council - which covers Batemans Bay, Moruya and Narooma hinterlands - gave approval after almost 2.5 years of thorough assessment and Ms McCuaig hopes to get a final occupation certificate next year.
She said there was considerable community support and she intends sourcing locally as many of the natural materials as possible used for the burial.
That would include native flowers, plants and biodegradable shrouds and coffins, such as mycelium coffins.
Visit the website walawaaniway.com. Walawaani Way is now accepting orders for Right of Burial at very reasonable prices.
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