Every grave tells a story at Waverley Cemeteries

14 October 2021 | Media Release

14 October 2021

Waverley Council invites the community to join us in a new era of discovery at Waverley Cemeteries where every grave tells a story.

The Council has launched a new Waverley Cemeteries website catering to the needs of cemetery families as well as residents and visitors with interactive maps of burial locations, a dedicated ‘stories’ section and details of history and heritage walking tours.

Council operates Waverley Cemetery on the Coast Walk, Bronte and South Head General Cemetery, Vaucluse. Both cemeteries are State Heritage listed for its association with a number of high-achieving, famous and notable people from literary, business, arts, political and sporting worlds.

More than 100,000 people are buried or interred at Waverley Cemetery which has operated continuously for almost 150 years. South Head General Cemetery accepted its first burial in February 1868 and contains graves that were moved from the Devonshire Street Cemetery in 1901 to allow for the construction of Central Railway Station.

Mayor of Waverley, Paula Masselos, said Council’s new website heralds a change in attitudes about cemeteries and their place in the community.

“In 1877, during the Victorian era, when Waverley Cemetery accepted its first burials, cemeteries were no longer thought of as dark and forbidding but rather places to celebrate the lives of the deceased, and that’s what we want to do in 2021 and beyond,” Mayor Masselos said.

“Our cemeteries continue to be a place of respectful remembrance where we can learn about the past and discover something new.

“Many people pass through Waverley Cemetery on their way from Bronte to Clovelly but might not know about the history of this special place.”

Famous people buried at Waverley Cemeteries include Australia’s first prime minister, Edmund Barton, poet Henry Lawson, Archibald Prize benefactor, AJ Archibald, Test batsman Victor Trumper, Australia’s first gold medalist, swimmer Sarah ‘Fanny’ Durack, suffragist Catherine Winifred 'Kate' Dwyer and Dymocks booksellers co-founder William Dymock.

“Waverley Council wishes to thank the Friends of Waverley Cemeteries for their ongoing support, assistance with the website and we look forward to welcoming them back shortly to host their walking tours,” Mayor Masselos said.

For more, visit the Waverley Cemeteries website.


Media inquiries: media@waverley.nsw.gov.au or 0416 075 532.