MACLEOD, James Andrew

James Andrew MacLeodDegree

Masters in Business Management

Graduation year


Current position

Managing Director


Tobin Brothers Funerals

What are some of your career highlights?

  • Taking transparency to new levels in the funeral industry with the development and introduction of the first App in the funeral industry worldwide in 2011 – MemoryMaker.
  • The invention and introduction of Cremation Rental Casket and the Self Assembly coffin.
  • I have worked in South Australia, ACT, NSW and Victoria in the funeral industry.  I commenced as a coffin trimmer and have worked in every aspect of the funeral industry.  My current role is Managing Director.
  • I sit on several boards including Tobin Brothers Funerals and Amalgamated Casket Company (the largest coffin and casket manufacturers in Australia), the Wellington Collingwood and Lifesavers Foundation and the Valda Twadd

Describe the most enjoyable and challenging aspects of your job

Dealing with people is the most enjoyable.  Being a funeral director in such a multicultural community we deal with so many different cultures and religions.  The fact that we journey with people which is arguably during one of their most difficult time in their lives that alone creates challenges. Dealing with broken families is very normal in today’s society but can be more challenging in grief.

What are your strongest memories while you were studying at Federation University Australia?

I really loved my time at Ballarat as I journeyed through the Masters program with a tremendous group of fellow students.  We had people from all over the State and from overseas. One of the Chinese students I studied with I visited on a few occasions, together with my family in Shanghai. The Business School staff were always good and very approachable.

Do you have any advice about life after study to pass on to current students?

For me there really isn’t any life after study.  I feel since I left High School I have been returning to study regularly over the last 25 years.  In a world full of so much change we need to continue to return through the study door to keep our skills up to date and relevant.   Remember University gives you some skills required in the workforce but nothing surpasses the learning you receive by doing.  It is like the words of one of my lecturers when I entered the MBM program – listening to tutorials, read and research widely, reflect much and work hard and you will have no trouble.

In one sentence what words of wisdom would you pass on to students

Everyone is given a lifetime, some are short, some are long and some are in-between.   Make the most of your lifetime you are given.