The Celebrants Network Inc - BLOG
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And that was 2021...
Goodbye 2021 – this time last year we hoped you would behave far better than 2020 and you really let us down. We can only hope that you will tell 2022 that we are ready for improvements. Our esteemed Association Chairperson, Sonia Collins reminisces about this past year...
It goes without saying that the pandemic has kept us all on our toes again this year. We had all learned to manage lockdowns, cancellations, deferred ceremonies and upset clients during 2020 and we certainly needed to hone those skills again during 2021. Micro weddings and elopements became the new normal when weddings were possible and changing rules caused lots of frustration and grief for celebrants and their clients. The Australian Bureau of Statistics advised that marriages were down by about 30% in 2020 when compared with 2019 and no doubt the figures for 2021 will also be down compared with “normal years”.
Despite everything The Celebrants Network has flourished in 2021. Our membership has increased again including a good cohort of student members who find our forum, website and development activities very useful in their studies. As is usually the case some of our long-term members including our founder Rona Goold retired from celebrancy in June and we wish them all well in their future endeavours.
Zoom has been our go-to technology this year and what a difference it has made. In 2020 we used it with enthusiasm and growing skills. By 2021 we really took advantage of Zoom and used it extensively. All Committee meetings are now held on Zoom rather than by phone which has helped committee members to connect more effectively.
We engaged Sarah Aird from The Celebrant Institute RTO to run a series of six OPD sessions on Zoom for our members. Our decision to present OPD at low cost to members was appreciated by all who participated. We were able to offer this by doing all the advertising and much administration ourselves using our very efficient website technology. Committee members have also assisted members who have had difficulties with the compulsory unit on the AGD portal. In addition to the official OPD sessions we held around 20 professional development activities on Zoom which were free to members. Attendance at these sessions has encouraged the committee to start work on a professional development program for 2022 because although the official OPD will only be the activity on the AGD portal we know that members of The Celebrants Network are keen to learn and share knowledge. Watch the forum and newsletters for details.
Communication is always a major focus for The Celebrants Network. The dedicated phone and email channels are always quite busy with enquiries and suggestions. The forum has been lively with many useful topics discussed and many questions resolved. Regular forum quizzes have kept us thinking. Our monthly member newsletter gives everyone an opportunity to keep up to date, even those too busy to access the forum and special newsletters were sent throughout the year as reminders of planned activities. We received useful information from a member survey in August and plan to keep using Survey Monkey to seek members views. Our social media has been very successful with a post every day covering a wide range of topics related to ceremony, celebrations and celebrants as well as special occasions such as World Celebrants Week, Dying to Know Day and The Day of Love. Our weekly Blog has also covered many topics and been well received.
The Celebrants Network Shop is thriving with its attractive stationery items and our high quality hand made folders and albums. For many members the Shop is one of the first things that attracts them to The Celebrants Network. The Committee is always keen to hear new ideas for unique shop items. If you have never ordered from the Shop ( and members do get discounts provided they log in) do have a browse around.
None of our activities would be possible without the tireless work of the National Committee. Although 2021 has presented its challenges every member of the committee has worked hard and contributed to a successful year. I’m sure I speak for all members in thanking each of them for their efforts.
We can see from the current Covid numbers that 2022 is likely to test us again and probably in different ways but it does appear that the country is opening up and travel is increasing enabling families and friends to reunite. Whatever the year brings, our member celebrants will be ready to help couples and families celebrate the important occasions in their lives and The Celebrants Network Inc will be there to support its members.
Thanking for your support in those years I wish you a Happy prosperous New Year with all the goodies what we expect. Great to be a part of the celebrant community.
Best regards Ilona