16 May 2024

Working with death: The Dunedin woman following the family profession

From Nights, 10:18 pm on 16 May 2024

Dunedin's Jodie Hope isn't the usual type of person people associate with funeral directing.

The 30-year-old operations coordinator at funeral services InvoCare has just been named president of the New Zealand Embalmers Association, only the second woman to hold the position and the first to lead an all-female executive.

It's a role filled previously by both her father and great uncle. In fact, funeral directing runs even further back in her family, with her great-great-grandfather establishing Hope and Sons funeral home in Dunedin in 1887.

She talks to Emile Donovan about her new role and how the public view of funeral directors and funerals in general is changing.

Jodie smiles off to the side of the room. She is leaning over a plush pew in a small room.

Jodie Hope, the new president of the New Zealand Embalmers Association, is continuing the family business of providing funeral services in Dunedin, started by her great-great grandfather in 1887. Photo: Supplied