bellarine memories

Because our interest is “For Life’s Significant Occasions,” we chose our name to reflect something of our philosophy and mission.

We are based on the beautiful Bellarine Peninsula. It is the place where we live, where we have our homes, and where our families work, study and play.

‘Bellarine’ is an aboriginal word for camping place. A camping place is generally a favourable location, where we rest on a journey, while en-route to our destination. We come to pause, and rest. After we are refreshed, we move forward again. Similarly, life’s ceremonies can provide time to reflect, reassess and reaffirm our values.

Philip Christian                                     Richard Grimmett 

Philip Christian

Philip works as a presenter, public speaker, master of ceremonies, facilitator, celebrant, or chaplain. He also is a listener, guide, advisor, welfare worker and bereavement carer. Then we can add funeral director, grief educator, and wedding planner.

He grew up in a small rural community with his farming parents, three brothers and four sisters. They learned first-hand about hard work on the farm and the unpredictability of the seasons.

Philip studied at LaTrobe University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts. After completing a Diploma of Education at Monash University, he taught English, Legal studies, History, Geography, Religious Studies, and Sport.

With his wife, Donna, they made application to work and teach in Africa. Part of the process included study and training for the ministry. After three years of further studies, training, and working in the church in youth work, they moved to Zambia to learn the local language, go out to villages on weekends, sleep in grass huts, and eat the local food. The family came back to Australia after six years. Philip became the minister at a Baptist church where the tasks included teaching, preaching, and pastoral care.

In 1995, living in Ocean Grove, Philip began to work as a funeral celebrant. “When I officiate at a funeral, I seek to write and present something new and different. Every person for whom I prepare a funeral should have a completely personal ceremony. Every one of us is unique. Therefore, the farewell that we have needs to reflect that distinct story and character.” Philip has a depth of experience and exposure to various cultures and religions.


Richard Grimmett

Richard is a member and past president of the Rotary Club of Ocean Grove and was a member of the Apex Club for 10 years. He has had a key involvement in many local community events. Richard has had a diverse career path, including agricultural sales, clerical administration, tyre-fitting, painting, farm-hand, multi-storey construction and hospitality. Since 1988, he has worked in the funeral industry in Geelong.

Richard is a qualified embalmer, obtaining a Certificate in Mortuary Science (Embalming) in 1995 and being accepted into the Australian Institute of Embalming the same year. Over the years, he has developed skills in coordinating funerals, dealing with a wide variety of people and situations. He has a thorough understanding of death and grief, religious and cultural backgrounds, legal and ethical requirements, funeral home management, industry standards and trends.

In 1995, Philip joined Richard in funeral service in Geelong where they began to combine their skills in creating and producing funeral ceremonies and celebrations. Now, more than ten years on, together they form the heart of bellarine memories.