From Page 5
For thousands of years, all cultures have used ceremony to inspire and support the well-being of individuals, families and communities adapting to major personal and social changes in roles and life stages as well as major environmental changes such as those due to natural cycles (seasons) or natural and man-made disasters.
For this purpose, celebrants provide a range of ceremonies, celebrations, and related services for major life events from birth to death – generally grouped as those related to love, life or loss.
Marriage is the only ceremony regulated in Australia. To perform a valid marriage under Australian law, the celebrant must be registered by a State Registrar (Subdivisions A and B) or authorised by the Commonwealth Registrar (Sub-divisions C and D).2 Currently only Commonwealth registered marriage celebrants must complete VET training prior to registration3. 2018 ABS Statistics indicated marriage rates continued to decline.4
In our multi-cultural and increasingly secular society, with an ageing population5 where illness and death require skilled loss related work, there is an increased need for independent civil celebrants to be well trained and recognised for providing a range of loss related services. Increased opportunities for ceremonies and celebrations other than marriage, are indicated by Australian population statistics6 that show twice as many births to deaths, and more arrivals and departures than births and deaths.
Civil marriage celebrants (Subdivision C) perform the majority of marriages in Australia. In 2017, civil celebrants conducted 78% of all marriages.7
From Page 10
Government policy / legislation changes
The broadening of the definition of marriage in December 201726 has not delivered a significant increase in the number of weddings against the backdrop of declining marriage rates in Australia -. the first six months averaging an increase of less than 0.5 marriages per celebrant.27
- Over the last twenty-five years, various changes to the Commonwealth Marriage Celebrant Program mean marriage work is no longer the stable core of the independent civil celebrant’s work. The average number of weddings per celebrant pa is 10, compared with 35 in 1999, and 64 in 1995.28 The peak celebrant body, the Coalition of Celebrant Associations (CoCA) Inc continues to advocate for a review of the Commonwealth Marriage Celebrant Program.29
- Despite 90% of celebrants offering other ceremonies, 77% of independent marriage celebrants earn less than $20,000 gross pa, and less than 2% an average wage equivalent from all their celebrancy work. 77% would like more wedding and/or other ceremony work opportunities.30
- So, there are opportunities for the VET system to address the needs of younger people entering the industry and ensuring existing celebrants who want further training have access to nationally accredited courses for viable work roles in all ceremonies, if they choose. CoCA has also advocated for all Subdivision A and B marriage celebrants to undertake a unit of study on marriage law.31
- Improving the depth and breadth of initial and continued training to equip independent celebrants for all occasions to provide quality services in a professional manner to their communities should increase the general public’s confidence in and respect for independent celebrants thus increasing access to work.
[Available at: https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/3310.0] [Accessed 22 March 2019]
28. CoCA Inc Survey of Independent Celebrants 2019 - raw data Question 9
29. CoCA Inc Submission to the 2018 Expert Panel on Religious Freedoms Item 2. Summary of Recommendations: Recommendation 5
30. CoCA Inc Survey of Independent Celebrants 2019 - raw data Questions 2, 14 and 15
31. CoCA Inc Submission to the 2018 Expert Panel on Religious Freedoms Item 2. Summary of Recommendations: Recommendation 6
Due to mass-adoption of online and social media by customers, it is important for almost all industries to establish and maintain a high profile on social media. And so, there is an ever-present need for students enrolled in Client Services Training Package Products to develop ‘online and social media skills’ as a foundation for work-readiness. Reflecting this, Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrants are required to complete five hours of ongoing professional development (OPD) activities each calendar year32, which can include ‘online and social media’ activities such as: 33
- social media marketing
- how to create awesome social media content
- creating and maintaining a social media presence
- social media as a marketing tool
- networking using social media.
33 Federal Register of Legislation (2019) Marriage (Celebrant Professional Development) Statement 2019
[Available at: https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2019L00138 [Accessed 15 March 2019]