Civil ceremonies are evolving as a uniquely Australian way of celebrating important personal and family events in an increasingly secular society. Civil celebrants perform an valuable function in our multi-cultural society in providing inclusive CIVIL ceremonies that are beneficial, not only for those that engage their services, but for the extended family and friends and other guests.
CIVIL ceremonies are neither secular nor religious, aiming to ensure all participants are respected and included regardless of their race, age, gender, religion, disability, sexual orientation. ie to ensure celebrations support human rights values and civil rights and responsibilities of all citizens.
The Civil Celebrations Network Inc aims to strengthen family and community networks ....
Celebrate with Ceremony
o Civility (being civilized - cooperation, compassion, care, courtesy, chivalry)
o Creativity (celebrate and encourage different talents and interests)
o Companionship (partnerships, family and friendships, groups)
o Citizenship (valuing justice –“a fair go”, free speech, diversity and community)
The CCN Inc proposes two ceremonial based strategies for social inclusion
1. Family based 'Coming of Citizenship Age" ceremonies.
The personalised 'Coming of Citizenship Age" ceremony based around the Citizenship Pledge along with the presentation of the 18 year olds Citizenship Certificate, Electoral and Citizenship Rights and Responsibilities Pack.
The distribution of a Citizenship Pack for all eighteen year olds including a:
- Certificate of Confirmation of Citizenship with Australian Crest and the Oath of Allegiance
- Voting Information Pack with Electoral Roll application
- Citizenship Rights and Responsibilities Pack in the format of a 'passport'.
Could be sold via Canprint to authorised celebrants.
2. An annual Citizenship Day (Welcome to Community) Ceremony on or near Australia's Citizenship Day - 17th September each year.
The development of local community based ceremonies, part-funded by local businesses and non-profits, at the village level, to be held either in the 17th September or on the 3rd Sunday of September
Such a ceremony could include
- Welcome or Acknowledgement of Country
- The National Anthem
- Introduction - Brief history of Citizenship Day
- Presentation of messages from federal government and other politicians (DVD)
- Dance, musical, choral, or like performance by local group or the 18 years olds
- Presentation on or behalf of the 18 years olds
- Welcome to community symbolic gesture - acknowledgement of different roles, employment, interests etc.
- Presentation to 18 years olds of Citizenship badge
- Taking of the Oath by all present
- Concluding group singing of 'We are Australian"
Each year's ceremony could have different elements - emphasis on creativity and participation in the preparation and delivery of the ceremony
Participants would include:
- representatives of various levels of government
- DVD presentation of a message from the Prime Minister, Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, local Federal & State MPs, Local Mayors
- Representatives of local community non-profit associations
- all young adults turning 18 that year
- families and friends of the 18 year olds
Organising Committee would involve a Citizenship Celebrant and representative of various community groups.
In 2009, the Coalition of Celebrant Associations, the national peak body of celebrant associations set up as a consultative body at the request of the Attorney General, supported these two motions:
· Exploring strategies for broadening the role of civil marriage celebrants to meet related objectives under the Federal Attorney-General's sphere of responsibility.
· The development of community based "adult Australian Citizenship" ceremonies for all young people turning 18 years of age.
The CCN Inc is in the process of preparing a number of submissions for funding to build towards this becoming a rite of passage for Young Australians. If you can assist in anyway - influential people, grants, benefactors etc, please let us know.