A.5 Some celebrant statistics from 1999

Sorting through my files, I came across a copy of this Appendix that was attached to letters a group of us sent to Ministers of Parliament in 2000 when the Civil Marriage Celebrant Program was being reviewed.

It is interesting to note that our predictions as regards numbers of celebrants were much lower than what has eventuated

The number of weddings per celebrant per year is now less than 7.

This was largely due to the Government not accepting the Marriage Celebrants Associations recommendations that the full Certificate IV in Marriage Celebrancy be the minimum standard for appointment as a Commonwealth Registered Marriage Celebrant.

Instead the standard was set as only one unit of that 11 unit course.

Rona Goold
ACCN Director 2012

APPENDIX 1

Source: A-G's Dept. and ABS

YEAR

% Civil Marriages of All Marriages

% INCREASE

1979

36.0 %

+ 15 % on previous decade

1989

42.2 %

+ 6% on previous decade

1999

51.3%

+ 9 % on previous decade

2009 ??

62 % ???

projected increase 11%

CIVIL Marriage Celebrants - UNDER Section 39.2.

October 2000 No. of Civil Marriage Celebrants = 1671
In 1999 No of ALL Marriages in Australia 114,300
  % Performed by Civil Marriage Celebrants 51.3%
  No. Performed by Civil Marriage Celebrants 58,636

Table 1 – CIVIL MARRIAGES 1999

Number Of Weddings

Per Annum

Celebrants

%

Celebrants

Number

Nil

6.78 %

115

1 - 10

29.53 %

502

11 - 25

26.20 %

446

26 - 50

21.70 %

369

51 - 100

12.08 %

205

101 - 150

2.53 %

43

151 - 200

0.95 %

16

200 plus

0.25 %

4

That is: 84 % of celebrants perform a wedding a week or less.

1999 Ratio: 1 celebrants per 32 weddings pa

ie approx 1 wedding per fortnight average

Any increase in numbers of CMC will means even fewer weddings per celebrant.

This compares with

1995 Ratio: 1 celebrants per 64 weddings pa

ie approx 1 wedding per week average

So there is already an over supply of celebrants.

Average Income per wedding Estimate = $250 net

Average weekly earnings from weddings

21 % of celebrants earn $125 to $250 p. week

64% of celebrants earn $125 or less p week.

12 % of celebrants earn $250 to $500 p. week

ONLY 3 % of celebrants = over $500 p. week

MYTH:
that celebrants earn a lot from weddings

Average No. of Weddings per WEEK

1999

Percentage of CUMULATIVE TOTAL NOS of CM Celebrants

Total No. of CIVIL Celebrants

1 or less

84.21 %

1432

Over 1

15.81 %

268

Over 2

3.75 %

63

Over 3

1.2 %

20

Over 4

0.25 %

4

There is no shortage of celebrants to justify any increase.

Better entry standards & complaints / reviews will remove unsatisfactory celebrants and create new spaces.

PREDICTIONS:

The AG’s Dept believes that:

  • many current celebrants will leave under the new requirements.
  • number of new celebrants will be low because new CMCs need to meet competence standards
  • market forces alone will best determine numbers

However the long term cumulative effect on numbers is a key concern because

  • a one year part-time TAFE level course will not a restrictive barrier to most applicants
  • income earning power is NOT to only or main motivation to become a CMC for many people
  • once restrictions on numbers are removed, life appointments will allow appointments for 25 to 30 years

Whilst it is impossible to predict accurately, taking all the above factors into account, without any controls on numbers of celebrants there could be as low as:

By 2010 1 celebrant : 21 weddings per year

By 2020 1 celebrant : 13 weddings per year

Could the situation deteriorate to this extent ?

“Open Market” can not guarantee it will not.

The safe option is to set appointments based on a community need for each area (eg ratio of celebrants / weddings) thus having a mechanism to manage numbers if “market forces” do not bring expected results.

Last modified on Saturday, 28 January 2017 00:16