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Australia Day 2022

The Australia Day public holiday falls at the end of our busy holiday season.  As we think about getting back into the swing of work, school and the year ahead it is also a good day to reflect on how Australia Day means different things to different people,  In today’s blog celebrant Sonia Collins looks at some of the issues surrounding our national day.

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Celebrating being Australian

Advance Australia Fair


Tuesday 17th September was Citizenship Day in Australia.  The Australian Government established Citizenship Day in 2001 as a day when all Australians could celebrate their Australian citizenship. Today's blog is wriiten by TCN celebrant Sonia Collins from Batemans Bay, NSW

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Why people come to Australia to get married

Thank you to Guest Blogger, Sonia Collins from Batemans Bay in NSW... Today Sonia is talking about  Australia and what a beautiful place it is to get married! There are lots of good reasons why people from overseas choose to marry in Australia. Here are just a few...

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Getting Married in Australia - The Legals

Getting Married in Australia - The Legals

The Marriage Act of 1961 says that you must comply with these six things below in order to get married in Australia:

1. your relationship must be between a man and a woman

2. you must be 18 years of age or over
(Under rare circumstances, a person between the age of 16 and 18 can marry, provided their prospective marriage partner is 18 years or over, and the couple have been granted permission by a Court)

3. you must not be married to anyone else

4. you cannot marry a person who is your antecedent or descendant by marriage or adoption

5. you must both be capable of and give free consent to marry the other 

6. you must lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) form with your celebrant no earlier than 18 months and no later than 1 month before your ceremony
(A prescribed authority may authorise a marriage where a NOIM form is lodged within one month of the date of the ceremony - ask your celebrant for details)

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So, if you can say yes to all six of the Marriage Act rules, or you have been granted the necessary permissions, then you are clear to start planning with your celebrant.


Making the union legal between you and your partner can sometimes be a confusing business which is why it's a great idea to #AskaCelebrant and they will explain all the requirements to ensure your marriage is legally valid.  

You can find a TCN Celebrant in your area through the TCN website.

Your celebrant must also sight original forms of your ID and divorce/death certificates (not photocopies) before the ceremony can take place. 

Some legal things that you might not know:

It is an offence, punishable with fines and/or jail time:

* for a person to go ahead with their marriage when the haven't complied with the 6 rules stated above and for a celebrant if they knew and solomnised the marriage anyway
* for a couple or a celebrant to falsify documents, by giving false information or backdating forms and certificates

* for a person who is not an authorised celebrant to solemnise a marriage
* for an interpreter to give false information

During the ceremony

The celebrant must state that they are authorised to solemnise marriages according to the law, and recite the monitum - which literally means "warning" that informs a wedding couple of the legal expectation of the binding nature of marriage within Australia, then the couple states that they want to become legally married to each other.  

This all has to be done in front of your celebrant and 2 witnesses who are over 18.

To conclude the ceremony, you, your celebrant and your witnesses sign three certificates and then your paperwork is sent off to the BDM in the state your ceremony took place to be registered.

And that's it!  It's that simple!

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What about if I want to surprise my fiance and organise the wedding without them knowing?

I'm sorry, but this just can't happen.  
You can surprise your guests, but both people who are getting married must have full knowledge and be in agreement at least one full month before the ceremony date.

Can I marry my first cousin?

Yes, you can.

Will my name be changed after the ceremony?

No, If you choose to change your name after you are married, you can automatically take your partner's surname without doing anything.  You can officially change your name, by going into government departments - Passport Office, Department of Transport, your bank, Medicare, etc, however.... you will first need to obtain an official marriage certificate from the BDM in the state you were married in.  

The pretty certificate you get on the day is a legal document that shows you are married but is not accepted by government departments and others for changing your name.


Read More Information Here

If you have any questions relating to legally getting married in Australia, you can find one right here: Find a TCN Celebrant

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How can the cost of a great celebrant and ceremony be afforded?

ASK A CELEBRANT BLOG: We can pool our money and other resources to buy something really special such as making the celebration THE gift.

We could pool our $$$$ to engage a professional independent celebrant, rather than everyone buying their own individual gift.

Like well designed stage play, a special event may cost from $ 600 to $ 2000 or more.
This may seem a lot, but is it really if the price is spread across a lot of people and the event has longer lasting benefits.

A $ 600 ceremony package can be covered by

  • 20 participants donating $ 30 per head OR
  • 50 participants at $ 12 OR
  • 100 participants at $6 per head

A $ 2000 ceremony package can be covered by

  • 20 participants donating $ 100 per head OR
  • 50 participants at $ 40 OR
  • 100 participants at $ 20 per head


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Missing loved ones at this time of year?

ASK A CELEBRANT BLOG. Merry Christmas! Poem by TCN Melbourne Funeral Celebrant and Poet Graeme Cook.

This is the little verse I put inside a Christmas Card for all the families I have dealt with through each year. It's called  Merry Christmas! I’ll Be Home For Christmas.

Set that happy Christmas table, you need leave no empty space,
For I shall sit between you all, in a peaceful state of Grace,
I shall hear your laughter, I’ll be a part of every smile,
From the kitchen to the pudding, I shall be there all the while.

The gifts you give each other, shall be your gift to me,
The Love that you shall share today, I will clearly see,
Enhance it with my memory, let your hearts be light and free,
For I’m that extra special glow, that coats your Christmas tree.

No matter where you have your Christmas, at home, the bush, the beach,
Cicadas, flies, and heat and gum trees, there no place I can’t reach,
Not just now, forever, as past the years go flying by,
I’ll be home for Christmas, on that you always may rely.

Graeme Cook 2007

Graeme Cook
Funeral Celebrant

Ringwood East, Melbourne Vic.
0417 149 382
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CELEBRANT VIC Melbounre Bayside Marzia Magris


MarziaMagris-col-portraitMarzia Magris is a former Victorian Public Servant with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, with a Degree and Graduate Diploma in teaching, career counselor, school industry work experience and vocational learning.  Marzia has 32 years as a professional educationalist having worked in secondary schools, and as an Executive Director of a not-for-profit program linking business and schools. Also active work in pioneering hospitality studies and early introduction to secondary schools with a background in food and hospitality she is author and writer of a VCE study and school/TAFE text for Hospitality studies and taught apprentice cooks at TAFE. 

She was a Ministerial Adviser to the Minister for Education over a three year period and has been involved in many Victorian State education launches, events, openings, conferences and award ceremonies.

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Australia loses a champion of civil marriage celebrants


A Message from the National Chairperson of our Australian celebrant peak body for marriage celebrants - The Coalition of Celebrant Associations.

Dear Colleagues

It is with saddened hearts the Coalition of Celebrants Association (CoCA) Inc wishes to inform all our colleagues in the celebrancy world that Robyn Caine our CoCA Chairperson until 2 days ago and  founding member of CoCA passed away this afternoon. Robyn will always be a treasured part of our lives and her work will live on in the fabric of our celebrancy world and beyond.

May Robyn’s family, friends and colleagues have peace of mind and heart in saying farewell to such a courageous and gracious lady, find  support needed in the times ahead when Robyn’s presence will be missed and give thanks for having the privilege of sharing Robyn’s love and  journey through life.

Tributes for Robyn may be placed on a special webpage CoCA has set up here on the CoCA website.

Kindest regards

Dorothy Harrison
CoCA Chairperson & MCA Delegate

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Recent comment in this post
Rona Goold
My Deepest Sympathy to Robyn's family in their lose she will be truly missed by all Sincerely Andrina Finke... Read More
Monday, 26 May 2014 23:37
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High Court throws out ACT's same-sex marriage laws


ASK A CELEBRANT BLOG: Australia's High Court has ruled that the ACT Same Sex Marriage Bill was inconsistent with the Federal Marriage Act, and were therefore unconstitutional.  So the hopes of many couples and families have had a set back. The full judgement will be released later. Read More on:

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4370 Hits