Independent Funeral Industry Support Services was established in 2019 by Kathryn Hodges and Johanna Adams, who between them, have more than 50 years of experience working in funeral homes and mortuaries in Victoria, NSW and South Australia.
Having worked at every level of their industry, Kathryn and Johanna saw there was a need for funeral operators and their staff to be able to access the types of support systems and structures that existed in similar workplaces that require such a broad and extensive range of skills.
Their aim was to create an agency that offered a range of support services and training programmes that addressed every level of the funeral industry from administration and funeral directing, to embalming and mortuary services. The type of agency which could provide back-up and assistance to businesses and employees in times of need.
In addition to this, Kathryn and Johanna share the vision of helping to build a resilient, professional industry that provides a healthy and safe work environment for the select group who have the ability and disposition to do a job which is so essential, yet often so misunderstood and undervalued by our society.
MAIE, MBIE, Funeral Director & Qualified Embalmer
After working for more than two decades in the funeral industry, Kathryn’s experience, qualifications, and industry endorsements are exceptional.
Attaining a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, Kathryn has developed a programme of Professional Development seminars in After Death Care. She has certificates in Strategic Planning in a Crisis, Group and Individual Crisis Intervention, Psychological First Aid, Resilience Leadership Training, Suicide Awareness and Prevention and Caring for the Carer, She is also co-creator of the Companions in Grief programme.
Kathryn is a member of CIMA (Critical Intervention and Management Australasia) and a Clinical Officer in the SES. As a Traumatic Incident Reduction (TIR) facilitator she is trained to help people recovering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
MAIE, Senior Embalmer, Necropsy Technician, Mortuary Manager
Johanna is one of Australia’s most respected embalmers and mortuary technicians with more than 30 years’ experience throughout Victoria and NSW. She holds qualifications in Forensic Science & Necropsy from the University of Technology Sydney (NSW), with further studies in phlebotomy, anatomy and physiology. She also holds qualifications in forensic photography, fingerprinting, ballistics and handwriting analysis from Swinburne University (VIC) and a award winning European qualification as a unisex hair stylist.
Johanna’s career includes Mortuary Technician roles at the Westmead Coroners Court and the Royal North Shore Hospital (NSW), and the Royal Melbourne Hospital where she conducted autopsies and laboratory research.
Having trained and mentored countless students through the mortuary science courses, Johanna oversees the IFISS mortuary facilities and training programmes.
Transfer Holiday & Funeral Support Services Available
Mortuary Transfer, Hearse Driver and Funeral Assistant
Darren Simpson Has worked in the funeral industry since 2015 in the area of Mortuary transfers and now with IFISS as a FDA and Hearse Driver.
Darren is well presented, compassionate and thoughtful with Versatile people skills and good situational awareness. His interpersonal skills and caring nature, together with his extensive experience working in high stress and emotional charged situations means he can adapt to any situation. Darren also has great experience working within people-orientated industries, management and worker teams.
Administrative Services Available
Administration & Coordination Consultant
Andrea Kneebone has been working solely within the funeral industry for over 2 years after many years working as an Account and Administration Manager for a Specialist Practice.
It was her long-held desire to work within the funeral industry and Andrea is passionate to use her administration skills, and vast experience working in a client-focused industry to support those who work in this field.
Funeral Support Services Available
ARRANGER will travel to family home or on site
CONDUCTOR will complete written service brief & debrief with relevant staff.
REPATRIATION- Liaise with funeral director only after initial arrangement (family must only deal with the engaging funeral director). IFISS does not deal with the financial side of the repat.
Complete all consulate requirements, DHHS, DFAT. Collect all relevant document authorities from departments.
FDA – Hearse presentation & ensure all relevant equipment is present. FDA tasks – memorial book etc
Professional Arranger, Conductor and Funeral Assistant
Josephine has worked in a broad range of occupations in a diverse range of fields including Clerical and general office administration, Real Estate Sales, Small Business, and Horticulture before entering the Funeral Industry. Josephine has now spent over a decade as an Arranger/Conductor taking care of families and clients from all socio-economic groups, cultures and backgrounds across the Melbourne Metropolitan area.
Having held senior positions with-in organisations, she has derived enormous satisfaction from the demands of the job, being sensitive to the different and individual needs of all families and colleagues with whom she worked. Every funeral is tailored to the family and their loved one and Josephine appreciates the importance of her role and the confidence that grieving families need to have in her.