Coalition of Celebrant Associations

Australia’s Peak Celebrant Body

Why join an association or three?

One of the good things about competition is that it is supposed to help everyone lift their game.

Yes certainly does. And the same is true for Celebrant Associations.

Remember celebrant associations are non-profit groups with the work done by volunteer committees. 

Each state, except NT and Tasmania, have celebrant associations. Some state associations are for only authorised marriage celebrants. Some now accept student celebrants and non marriage celebrant members. All have broadened their geographic boundaries.

So why join a celebrant association?

It’s a simple matter of  “two heads are better than one”.

  • It is a rare person who knows everything, has seen everything, has thought about and felt everything, developed a level of maturity and wisdom about everything!
  • CoCA Associations are working together to improve the professionalism and conditions for working celebrants.

So the benefit of being part of a group is to improve what you offer and avoid problems by learning from other people’s question and/ or mistakes.

  • And in celebrancy work, knowing people who can  be called upon should you have an accident, become sick or have a family emergency that requires your attention is really an important part of being a professional celebrant.
  • Also the Attorney General department has made it very clear that they view celebrancy as a profession and membership of a celebrant association is evidence of your professional attitude to the role as a “Fit & Proper” person.

How do you decide which one is best for you?

  • CoCA-find-a-COCA-associationChoose a CoCA association because
    • CoCA is the peak advisory body for Commonwealth Marriage Celebrants recognised by the Attorney-General’s Department
    • these associations are willing to work together to improve conditions for their own members and for the profession overall
      - by using the combined wisdom of all the associations leaders.

Most celebrant associations offer similar services:

  • a website listing, with or without a photo and contact details, including a link to your website
  • a committed volunteer Committee that tries to keep abreast of matters that affect their celebrant members
  • discounts for OPD
  • celebrant conferences or workshops or learning experiences either face to face or over the web.
  • a communication forum for members to link with each other  – either via email eg Yahoo, or website forums, or website forums/ email digests.
  • access to information about celebrants stationery and related resources
  • access to discounts for celebrants individual or group insurance and/ or copyright licence cover
  • a voice to government on celebrant member’s needs and concerns
  • ways for letting the general public know about their members services

Like choosing a celebrant, choosing a celebrant association needs a little research

- just simply looking at fees alone is not a good guide.

  • Some have few or no fees – but still offer services of value to their members or they would not exist.
  • Some charge a “one price fits all” whether you need all the components or not
  • Some charge only for the components you need, value and/ or can afford.
  • Some will claim they are “the Biggest”,  “the Best” or “the Most” as marketing language is everywhere these days – so you need to do your homework.
  • Some are only concerned with one type of ceremony; some with more local issues; some with promotion and marketing; some with the development of celebrancy – all have their place.
  • Your task is to assess the best fit for you and your celebrancy future if that’s what you hope for.

Some tips:

  • Do your homework.
  • Check out CoCA associations  - A summary of each CoCA association, their services and fees will help you decide which association or three are the best fit for you.
  • Association services (described below)celebrant PI & PL insurance and CAL Copyright are the main factors to consider.
  • When comparing fees, remember, what seems the simplest and/ or most economical may be add up to more in the long run, especially if the association is not a CoCA member.  
  • Ask celebrant colleagues about their experiences of being with associations
    - at celebrant network meeting
    - at OPD sessions (good reason to go early if you do not belong anywhere)
    - through your connections with those students you did your training with

Think about what you need and question the feedback you get – try to get details.

  • Some people may not get very much out of an association because they do not put very much in.
  • Some associations offer good face-to-face support but lack good online services, others the reverse.

Why join more than one association?

Most celebrants who take building their professional celebrancy practices seriously as well as wanting the best for their couples and families belong to more than one association.

Because  …

  • A strength of one association will counter balance the weakness of another.
    - Local state associations often support their members with local face to face meetings.
    - National associations allow for a lot more sharing across the country because ‘competitive’ factors are reduced.
  • A link back to the celebrant’s own website is a PLUS for  your GOOGLE ranking, when the Association has a website that allows members a listing with links to their own website.
  • Group promotion/ advertising can be effective if you’ve done your part in making sure you have a good photo and text to go with your listing.
  • Having a logo on your website of a celebrant association can be re-assuring to the general public that you are a person who is keeping up with what is happening in your profession, and is perhaps somewhere your prospective couple or family can go if they have hassles with you.

All the very best with your investigations.
Feel free to contact us, if you need more information.

CoCA Secretary

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