Tender Far North Queensland

Tender Funerals Far North Queensland Board of Directors

Margaret Yandell


Born in Alice Springs, grew up in remote communities (NT & SA) and Adelaide – moved to QLD in 1992 and lives in Cairns.

Over 30 years working in the Disability and Human Services sector (including 15 years as the Manager at the Kuranda Neighbourhood Centre).

Current community activator for Tender Funerals FNQ with a Bachelor of Arts, Human Services.

Strong focus on social justice and community development and committed to working towards more affordable, responsive, accessible and socially just options for people in Far North Queensland.

Michelle Rafter


Michelle has a background in Administration, Teaching and Outdoor Education. Personal experiences with illness and death prompted her to research how families can be better empowered to support a loved one who is dying, and through this research, discovered Tender Funerals.

Michelle believes strongly in bringing the Tender Funerals model of meaningful, authentic and affordable funerals to the people of Far North Queensland.

Michelle combines knowledge gained from her lived experience with death and dying, along with her professional skills, to support the Tender Funerals Far North Queensland Board.

Justine Schlicht


Justine has actively been part of her community in FNQ working with peoples from many cultures and beliefs.  She has had the privilege to care for family and friends during illness and death. Through these experiences she believes that the Tender Funerals FNQ model will provide compassion, empowerment and create affordable personable funerals for our diverse communities. She feels that this journey is a “community undertaking” and having dialogue about dying, death and grieving supports us all.

Justine has a Creative Industries Degree/Performance JCU, is a Feldenkrais Practitioner, a performer, arts worker and teacher of circus/physical theatre. She is excited as we get near to being completely operational and encourages anyone who would like to be part of this growing, caring community organisation to get in touch.

Louise Gilmour

Director/Treasurer (and Public Officer)

After spending many years working and travelling both overseas and within Australia, Louise finally settled in Cairns in the early 1990’s.

She has been working at Kuranda Neighbourhood Centre for over 14 years as the bookkeeper, as well as in an administration role and helps manage the No Interest Loan Scheme.

Louise has seen first-hand not only the impact the cost of funerals has on families and communities at a time when they are struggling with grief, but how many of their wishes are being ignored and the funeral arrangements on offer seem to be “one size fits all”.

Louise is honoured to be involved with establishing Tender Funerals Far North Queensland which will offer affordable, personalised and ethical community funeral services once they are operational.

Rebecca Nind


Rebecca (Bec) calls Cairns home after relocating 7 years ago from her place of origin WA.

She began her career as a carer with the WA AIDS Council back in the early 90’s and then went on to study nursing. She has been working as a Registered Nurse for the past 17 years where she has found the areas of Palliative care and Mental Health her fit. In 2019 she heard about Tender Funerals whilst doing an End of Life Doula training course and was impressed by the philosophy of a funeral service that could offer CHOICE, PARTICIPATION AND CONNECTION.

This also resonates with her mindset that dying and death along with the aftercare is not a clinical process but a personal journey in one’s life that should be treated as such involving as much autonomy and flexibility as one needs during this time.

Upon discovering a group of people in Cairns who had a vision to establish Tender Funerals in FNQ she was keen to become involved. As a current Director, her focus is on the establishment of a physical premise to open and be operational soon to provide a not-for-profit service to the community of Cairns and the FNQ region and continuing to volunteer in a capacity to enable this service to continue for all. She enjoys gardening, reading, art, drawing, crafts, and sewing and finds some time to work in her professional role a few times each week.

Rinchen Kelly


Venerable Rinchen has been a Buddhist Nun for 22 years, she is the resident nun at Khacho Yulo Ling Buddhist Centre in Cairns.

Apart from running the Buddhist Centre, she has devoted most of her time to working as a volunteer with palliative care. Her role in this field has been to provide support to families and their loved ones as they navigate the challenges of facing death and dying. She has witnessed many deaths, and conducted many funerals, when she heard about Tender Funerals and their core values and motivation, she immediately wanted to get involved.

“When I work with families I try to create a positive and peaceful environment. Educating them on what to expect during the dying process and helping them to focus on the love and gratitude and the amazing opportunity to be able to repay the kindness of their loved one by supporting them at this time. I can see that Tender Funerals when they are up and running, will then be able to continue that journey of love and support working together with the families to create a memorable and meaningful way to say goodbye.”

Karen Jones


Karen has been operating her Cairns based company, Kite Fish Film Pty Ltd for over 30 years, sourcing and managing locations for the Australian and International film industry.  She has had a key role in attracting and securing large productions that have come to Far North Queensland over the years and during that time, has developed a diverse skillset and commercial networks over the years.  These productions bring significant economic benefit and international exposure to this beautiful region.

 Part of the job involves dealing with people from all parts of the community from the house holder to government departments requiring a high degree of responsibility, strong communication skills and professional integrity.

 With a desire to become more involved with human services, Karen hopes the practical application of her skills, working together with the Tender FNQ Board, will assist people in having as many choices as possible when navigating the passing of loved ones.