Industry moves with the times

Alex Medcalf is no stranger to working with grief — his previous career as a British army soldier involved breaking the news to families that their loved one was a casualty in battle.

After spending several years helping his wife’s uncle run a funeral home in Burpengary, north of Brisbane, he moved into ‘funeral IT’, starting a streaming service that has doubled in demand every month in its four-month existence.

“The IT side has become a lot more important to families,” Mr Medcalf said.

“Tribute centres, web streaming, apps where they can upload information and photos so they don’t have to travel to the funeral home.”

With clients across the country and in New Zealand, his goal is to stream 30,000 funerals a year — a figure he says is achievable when, by his estimate, more than 160,000 funerals are held across Australia every year.

But Mr Medcalf is not the first to offer the service.

The future of funerals

Funeral director Tim Connolly, who remembers handling recordings of funeral services on VHS, said the funeral industry is constantly looking to the future.

While I welcome the convenience and the impact of the rise of live streaming, he also wonders where it will leave physical ceremonies in years to come.

“It might [get to a point] to where people don’t actually attend the chapel and don’t offer their condolences to the family, and that’s really what a funeral is about.

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Story Source: www.abc.net.au/news