Coalition of Celebrant Associations

Australia’s Peak Celebrant Body

AGD conflict of interest discussion 2016 and 2017

Independent celebrants are invited to offer their comments and recommendations to CoCA on Conflict of Interest and Benefits to Business section of the AGD 2016 Discussion Paper released 25th November 2016

CoCA's background notes and principles for COI

Whether you are a member of a CoCA association or not,  you may fill in the Message Box below to give us your examples.


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  • Comment Link Jane Albrecht Tuesday, 31 October 2017 16:03

    I completed my survey when it was emailed to me and obviously those who would benefit must have been the majority to reply!! Because a lot of Celebrants have voiced my same concerns, we may have a Trump like result, where Celebrants did not voice their concerns, hence the rersults.
    I do not feel that changing or relaxing the conflict of Interest would benefit majority of Celebrants. Below are some of the reasons I feel strongly about this:

    · I believe once we enter into the extreme commercialisation of Weddings, we lose our professional stance in the law and community.

    · We need to be a profession that is not influenced by outside pressure as stated in and that we presented too, the Attorney Generals Department, in application to become a Marriage Celebrant from our referees, as in; a person without criminal conviction, with high moral values and who is a worthwhile member of the community.

    · It already seems to come down to money and ruthless competition to get the couple or ‘job’.

    · Already we see Celebrants who are prepared to alter dates so as to get the ‘job’

    · Undercutting and offering anything to clients in a way of obtaining the ‘job’

    · Huge companies, hotels and venues will take control of our profession and only a hand few will benefit, similar to the Funeral business.

    · We will become, by our own hand become obsolete

    · Who will then be able to monitor unscrupulous Celebrants, we will have NO comeback.


    CoCA is on record as seeing Commonwealth celebrants loosing parity with the other two Subdivision of marriage celebrants, which it sees as discriminatory against celebrants and their couples:

    In 20012, CoCA argued that Commonwealth Celebrants should not be required to pay at all.

    At the Senate Inquiry – Marriage Amendment Bills 2013, CoCA recommended that the government charge all marrying couples or all marriage celebrants not just Commonwealth celebrants and that the funds raised between the Commonwealth and the States to ensure all marriage celebrants were treated upon the same principles.

    Unfortunately a large non-celebrant association argued that Commonwealth celebrants be charged. CoCA is continuing to raise these issues, and hopes that once the Same Sex Marriage issue is resolved that these other discriminatory issues embedded int the Marriage Act can be addressed.

    Most importantly all celebrants need to understand the Marriage Act and how Commonwealth celebrants are treated differently - then educate their family and friends.

  • Comment Link april cornwell Sunday, 24 September 2017 05:51

    I believe that the rules related to 'conflict of interest' are just not reasonable. With so many celebrants around, most often supplement their income with another job and quite often, it's in the wedding business. Why should the celebrant be unable to perform what they're trained for, if a couple has asked them to be their celebrant? MARRIAGE CELEBRANT - NAME SUPPLIED & VERIFIED CoCA

    COCA RESPONSE. Not sure whether this comment is for or against 'conflict of interest' being changed to be stricter or looser. CoCA's view is that the 2002 provisions for COI and B2B were to ensure high standards of professional practice and to ensure the validity of the marriage is not compromised nor the quality of the ceremony. Most marriage celebrants are unable to regularly perform "what they have been trained for" because is an over-supply of marriage celebrants. Loosening the COI and B2B has the potential to increase the over-supply and thus decrease the available number of weddings per celebrant.

  • Comment Link  Michelle Thursday, 12 January 2017 20:03

    The rules about conflict of interest under reminded and assume that Celebrants only have one skill set

    In actual fact someone such as a celebrant would be the perfect MC for the reception. Or if celebrant has had events experience, could organise the wedding and then form on the day.

    The whole thing is backwards. Surely if a celebrant is also a florist it is not a problem for other celebrants a whole, but for florists.

    Do any of us really care if another celebrant is also providing the hair styling two hours before the gig begins?

    Anything, since the average wage of the celebrant so though we should be encouraging everyone to utilise the contacts and make their careers successful overall. Other industries call this networking. Opposite of conflict


  • Comment Link Belinda Wednesday, 11 January 2017 21:34

    There are already inconsistencies with the rules to the a Conflict of Interest. I constantly see breaches yet these Celebrants are not pulled up. If it is to remain it should be more defined and stricter rules for EVERYONE or completely be lifted. I personally think it should be lifted but with some guidelines or restrictions that are well defined so everyone has a fair chance.


  • Comment Link Marion Way Saturday, 17 December 2016 22:49

    I agree with the Celebrant that said that there is an oversupply of celebrants.

    The AGD needs to cut back on the number of celebrants that are appointed each year. I liked the idea of making all of the appointments at ONE time in the year. That may be at the beginning of the financial year or some other time.

    Conflict of Interest and benefit to business has so many loop holes and is totally wrong for a number of reasons. As stated previously there will be many more celebrants appointed by Motel chains, Function centres and the like.
    In rural Australia the securing of a wedding is becoming increasingly chaotic because of undercutting and many celebrants devalue their work and don't even match BDM simple ceremonies.

    The can has been opened now the worms need to re group and march through this minefield of propaganda.


  • Comment Link Rona Goold Saturday, 17 December 2016 08:42

    Seems the Attorney-General Department does not understand the difference between "What is a business?" and What is a profession?" Professions have "professional development" .. private businesses only do when they consider they need something. Professions are supposed to be concerned about the public good, as well as making a fair wage for their work. Businesses don't have to worrry about the public good - it's all cut throat when they can get away with it!


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