Russ Allison leads Changing Places (Vic) Pty Ltd, a specialist cemetery and funeral consultancy, utilising his knowledge and the skill set honed during more than 30 years within the sector.
His recognised ability and standing in the industry provided the foundation upon which the consultancy was established. Since March 2011 Changing Places has undertaken a variety of engagements within the sector. These have predominantly been in relation to policy formulation, strategic planning, developing cemetery management plans, business model appraisal, related stakeholder consultation and facilitating cemetery landscape masterplans.
Having previously held senior executive positions within large corporate funeral businesses prior to being appointed CEO of one of Australia’s most respected cemetery trusts (with eight sites, turnover approaching $40 million and financial investments of more than $135 million) his skill set is quite unique. In that position he was directly involved with planning for and the oversight of the organisational restructures associated with enhancing service provision and metropolitan cemetery trust mergers.
He has also delivered keynote addresses at industry conferences not only within Australia but also in Chicago, Toronto and Shanghai.
Russ Allison has a unique breadth of experience. He has:
- the business acumen, skills and resources to undertake the project
- well-developed networks within the cemetery and funeral industries to provide insight into relevant legislation and local trends
- a reputation for proactively delivering excellent service, in full, on or under budget and on time
- insight into funeral and cemetery operations, processes and terminology e.g. tenure, re-use, licenses, intergenerational costs of cemetery operations
- a strong understanding of cemetery management models, whether they be not for profit trusts, municipal offerings, private enterprise, or vertically integrated enterprises (funerals, cemeteries and crematorium conglomerates)
- demonstrated capacity to relate to people from all cultures and walks of life and organisational levels, thus facilitating stakeholder consultative processes
- an unrivalled breadth of sector experience
Consultancy engagements have been within the A.C.T., N.S.W., S.A., Qld. and Vic.
Current Sector Affiliations
- Deakin University – appointed to the inaugural Graduate Certificate of Cemetery Practice Advisory Board in 2019
- Retained since 2016 by the Cemeteries & Crematoria Association of NSW (CCANSW) to provide strategic advice & input to its Executive Committee
- Australasian Cemetery and Crematoria Association affiliate member
- Cemetery and Crematoria Association of NSW affiliate member
- Cemetery and Crematoria Association of South Australia corporate member
- Ministerial Advisory Committee for Cemeteries and Crematoria (Victoria) Dec. 2013 – Nov. 2014
- Advisor Victoria Police Graves Committee since 2012-13 (pro-bono)
- Metropolitan Cemetery Change Advisory Committee: Member, appointed by the Minister for Health February 2009 to February 2010 to facilitate cemetery trust amalgamations