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Skills Forecast 2019 - celebrancy aspects

Download the complete draft:  2019 Client Services Industry Skills Forecast CONSULTATION DRAFT.pdf

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


2. Part IV—Solemnisation of marriages in Australia Division 1—Authorised celebrants

3. Australian Marriage Act 1961 Section 39C and Marriage Regulations 2017 Division 2—Marriage celebrants Subdivision A—General provisions Section 39

4. Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) (2017) 3310.0 – Marriages and Divorces, Australia, 2017 [Available at:] [Accessed 22 March 2019]

5. Older Australia at a glance. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) Cat. no: AGE 87 changing-age-and-gender-profile

6. Population clock Information as at April 2019 Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) that states “these assumptions are consistent with figures released in Australian Demographic Statistics, September Quarter 2018 (cat. no. 3101.0).

7. Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) (2017) 3310.0 – Marriages and Divorces, Australia, 2017 [Available at:
8.  Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia. Definition of Counselling [Available at: counselling/] [Accessed 22 March 2019]

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.
26. Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017 Part 3 Subsection 5(1) (definition of marriage) Omit “a man and a woman”, substitute “2 people”.
27. Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) (2017) 3310.0 – Marriages and Divorces, Australia, 2017
      [Available at:] [Accessed 22 March 2019]

28. CoCA Inc Survey of Independent Celebrants 2019 - raw data Question 9 independent-celebrants-2019-raw-data

29. CoCA Inc Submission to the 2018 Expert Panel on Religious Freedoms Item 2. Summary of Recommendations: Recommendation 5 recommendations

30.  CoCA Inc Survey of Independent Celebrants 2019 - raw data Questions 2, 14 and 15 independent-celebrants-2019-raw-data

31. CoCA Inc Submission to the 2018 Expert Panel on Religious Freedoms Item 2. Summary of Recommendations: Recommendation 6 recommendations

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New technologies

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.


32 Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department (2019) Ongoing professional development [Available at:] [Accessed 15 March 2019]

33 Federal Register of Legislation (2019) Marriage (Celebrant Professional Development) Statement 2019
      [Available at: [Accessed 15 March 2019]
Last modified on Friday, 24 May 2019 19:17