Kariyarra Noongar woman Sharon Todd has made history by becoming the State’s first female Indigenous funeral director. Ms Todd started her business, Towards the Dreaming, after realising there was a gap in services offered by mainstream funeral companies. She was encouraged by her family after directing her nephew’s funeral in Perth last year and her brother-in-law’s funeral in Port Hedland this year. Ms Todd’s business proposal was supported by Wirrpanda Foundation’s Wirra Hub business advisory service, which provides in-house mentoring, networking opportunities and state of the art office facilities. Ms Todd said she had always been passionate about creating funeral ceremonies that allowed “our mob to do things our way”. “My mission is to bring as much culture and tradition as requested by families, by involving them intimately with funeral preparations and incorporating what is important to them during our services,” she said. “Culture and identity are integral both in life and in death for Indigenous people, so it is important that this is respected and honoured. “By fostering human connection and rekindling our traditional practises, I hope to bring healing and closure to these families.” Ms Todd’s Wirra Hub business coach Raylene Bellottie said it was rewarding to be part of Ms Todd’s journey. “As a business coach it’s always exciting to mentor and guide individuals with the hope of making their dreams a reality, and Sharon is the perfect example of how persistence, dedication and commitment can help you achieve your goals, regardless of how ambitious they may seem,” she said.