Coalition of Celebrant Associations

Australia’s Peak Celebrant Body

Issues for April meeting with the AGD

All celebrants may fill in the Message Box below to give CoCA your concerns about the Commonwealth Marriage Celebrant Program.

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  • Comment Link Brian H Davies Friday, 19 February 2016 14:39

    I believe today more than ever that there should be a moratorium placed on the training of new celebrants for the next five years, as there are more than enough celebrants young and old in the mix that would allow for those wishing to retire will create a small gap which would then be taken up by younger celebrants who have years ahead of them to enjoy the work and be suitably paid to do so, instead of the crazy situation that we have where celebrants are charging less than the Registry Office to gain couples and just pay their overheads.

    The Bible states that the Lord said unto Adam and Eve, Go forth and prosper, he didn't say go forth, work hard,create wonderful ceremonies and GO BROKE !


  • Comment Link suzanne midolo Friday, 19 February 2016 09:35

    1. I am hoping that the revised forms have been give a decent trail with lots of registered celebrant so there is no complaints and waste of time when released.
    2. It concerns me the number of celebrants who refer to themselves as "civil celebrants" we are commonwealth registered marriage celebrants...authorised by law to solemnise marriage according to law... who perform civil ceremonies...maybe this needs to be pointed out in a future newsletter from the AG would be great if there was an opportunity for open dialogue between the RTO's offering the new Cert IV in celebrancy as there are numerous changes and it would be good to make sure we are all on the same page offering future students equal tuition and support.


  • Comment Link Leanne Smith Friday, 19 February 2016 08:16

    Thanks for the chance for a chat. The current OPS's are being credited towards Cert IV. But us with a Cert IV already .. Is it possible to have these credited towards a diploma?


  • Comment Link Rona Goold Thursday, 18 February 2016 09:40

    In response to the Celebrants Comments noted as Tuesday, 16 February 2016 21:52

    May I suggest that there are a number of options open to you:

    1. Arrange another civil celebrant to provide the legal marriage component of the ceremony in a similar way to when a civil celebrant lets a family member or friend conduct most of the civil ceremony.

    2. Arrange the churches you service to form a non-profit incorporated association and apply to be authorised as a religious celebrant for that organisation if you wish to participate in the ceremonies using religious criteria as the basis for the agreement to marry a couple.

    3. Be ‘unavailable on the date requested by the same sex couple.

    4. Not advertise your celebrancy services to the broader public in any way. The Marriage Act only requires that the authorised celebrant is listed on the Register of Celebrants which is now on the Attorney-General's website. This way your referrals would presumably come from only those couples for whom you applied to be a celebrant 5 years ago.

    5. Lobby for a specific exemption based ONLY upon gender for current, not new, Commonwealth CIVIL Marriage Celebrants.


  • Comment Link Rona Goold Tuesday, 16 February 2016 21:52

    My concern is that I've been a celabrent for about 5 years and the reason I became a celabrent was to be able to marry people in the small church I was helping to run as we did not have a Ordained minister and I help other small churches who do not have authority to marry people I am concerned that if the marriage definition is changed I may be forced by law to conduct same sex marriages that I may have to resign and will be unable to be of service anymore And the difficulty it will place these other small Communaty churches who cannot morally and in good Conscience be involved in same sex marriage

    Section 47 of the Marriage Act enables ALL authorised religious celebrant (whether Commonwealth or State) to refuse to marry any couple, even if they are eligible to be married by a civil celebrant, upon ANY grounds AND to impose ANY EXTRA requirements. So as such a Commonwealth Religious Celebrant would have no obligation to many same sex couples.

    However, in checking that you are an authorised Commonwealth marriage celebrant, the Register indicates that you have been authorised to provide CIVIL ceremonies.

    Whether CIVIL celebrants are going to be required to marry all couples if same sex marriage becomes law, will depend upon the actual changes to the Marriage Act.

    Many of the draft bills leave Section 47 unchanged, but do not extend the right to discriminate against any couple upon any grounds as Section 47 does in relation to religious celebrants.

    If the new legislation was along these lines then, under current Anti-Discrimination Laws, you would be expected to abide by the requirements of CIVIL law.

  • Comment Link Diane Lester Tuesday, 16 February 2016 19:22

    I have a concern about the time it takes for marriages to be processed. It seems that even using BDM Online processing is still taking around 6 weeks. Why is this so?


    It is noted that you are a Victorian based Marriage Celebrant so it will be assumed that the relevant BDM in reference to this request is the Victorian Registry.

  • Comment Link jenny wright Tuesday, 16 February 2016 19:19

    my concern is regarding same sex marriage should it be made legal in Australia.

    for those who do not agree with it and do not wish to perform the ceremony do they have the right to refuse without any legal repercussions and would celebrants be protected.

    when receiving an enquiry how would the question be asked if they are a same sex couple without offending them?

    would there be a symbol against the celebrants who are willing to do their ceremony?

    kind regards

    thank you:))

  • Comment Link Susan Morton Tuesday, 16 February 2016 18:25

    I would like you to represent:
    Can we please have the Presentation Certificate as portrait so we present for signing better?


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