The Departure


The Departure is (currently) a transient art space created by artist and death literacy advocate Hayley West.  

The Departure is dedicated to death and all that remains; a space to ponder your own mortality, educate yourself on end of life matters, and encounter death themed artworks and events.

The Departure believes in empowering the community by sharing practical knowledge through exchange and generosity.

Natural Death Advocacy Network

I now have a listing on the Natural Death Advocacy Network website. If you’re living near Castlemaine, or even a little further, please feel free to contact me.


We are a growing Australian network and advocacy partnership of community facilitators, professionals, activists and educators working to enrich the experience of dying and death.

Our aim is to create an informative, innovative and transparent organisation advocating holistic approaches to dying and death through independent research and action. Our main areas of advocacy include death education, funeral planning, family lead funeral care, natural burial and bereavement care.

We are committed to providing individuals, families and communities with professional, creative and informed assistance to choose meaningful, humane and ecological pathways at the end of life.

Hayley West, NDAN member (click here)

Goodbye to The Mill

This weekend (Saturday 25th & Sunday 26th November) will be the last weekend The Departure will be at The Mill.

With recent increases in running costs, and having to work elsewhere to keep The Departure afloat, has meant I can't be in there as much as I would like. It kind of defeats the purpose of being there and doing what I love most, talking about death and dying!

I have visions of having pop-ups at special events like festivals and at markets where I can talk to locals and tourists. It means I can do it when and where I like (I'm still on the look out for a hearse which would be great for this!). It's also been a bit tough being in at The Departure every weekend, I miss my family and there always seems to be something interesting to do on the weekends especially around Victoria.

I'll get my online shop happening ASAP where I'll be selling my ceramic works. I also have plans for some special projects so stay tuned.

Keep updated on my Instagram Page and Facebook Page. You can also join the Death Cafe Castlemaine group on Facebook for interesting death, dying and art related articles.

Thanks so much for supporting The Departure, although I'm not in a physical space, my mental space is still active! xxx Hayley

change of hours - sort of & sometimes

Responses from the Arts community, Deathie networks worldwide and the unsuspecting public have been fantastic, I thank all my followers from the bottom of my heart!

Unfortunately with the recent Council rates increase, The Departure has become a little unsustainable, so I have had to urgently find other employment to keep The Departure operating.

I've taken up a casual fill-in position with the Goldfields Libraries, and so there may be days that I cannot be in The Departure on the days I have advertised I am open.

I will let you know if this happens on the Instagram account and Facebook page.

I apologise to anyone who comes in expecting it to be open and I'm not in. The Mill Castlemaine has some other great businesses on site to enjoy.




All ideas & images on this site are protected under the Creative Commons License: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs.