The practice of cremation of human corpses was a contested topic during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. An alien concept advocated by public health officials as well as individuals concerned about the use of urban spaces, cremation gained little traction among the wider Australian Christian populace. For the increasing number of Sikh and Hindu hawkers and farm workers, however, cremation was a culturally mandated means of disposal of the dead. This paper traces the public discourse on cremation events during the first dozen years (1892–1905). It shows that the cremations of the Punjabi hawkers in effect normalised the concept to the wider public outside academic circles.