History of CoCA
CoCA Inc came into existence in 2008 from a long held desire by celebrants and their associations to have a representative group putting their concerns directly to the Attorney-General and the Attorney General’s Department (originally the Registrar of Celebrants and the Marriage Celebrant Section).
The first National Council achieved some success, but difficulties in reaching agreement amongst all celebrants and associations saw this council evolve into the current peak body at the invitation of the The Hon Robert McClelland, MP and Commonwealth Attorney-General. 13 associations became part of the foundation group.
Delegates were appointed by these associations and an initial meeting was held in Canberra in October 2008. This first meeting agreed on a Memorandum of Understanding and appointed the first office bearers.
The Memorandum of Understanding states (in part):
Aim: to establish a collective unified representation of marriage celebrants to the Attorney-General and to the Attorney-General’s Department.
Purpose: to promote celebrancy and the advancement of the profession of celebrants.
Since this time, CoCA Inc has continued to work with the AGD on all practical and formal matters that are within the Department's scope.
At the meeting with the Attorney General's Department in December 2010, a Protocol between the Coalition of Celebrant Associations and the Attorney-General’s Department was formally signed by both parties. This document confirmed a peak body status for CoCA Inc.
A constitution was agreed and CoCA Inc was incorporated in NSW in March 2011 and its constitution has been updated since then.
In 2012, the government commenced consultation on the introduction of Cost Recovery, which all but one CoCA association opposed on the basis that the proposed annual fee was to be applicable to only Commonwealth marriage celebrants. As a result of this issue, one founding association resigned from CoCA to support the introduction of the annual fee.
The protocol was replaced in 2019 by the Attorney General's Department with a Meeting Administration Document.
It is CoCA Delegates' strong desire to continue to work in collaboration with the Attorney-General and members of the Department to further the profession of celebrants, in relation to their marriage work, and to provide accurate and timely information to the Department from the member Associations.