Sometimes it helps to get a different perspective on things . . .
Since The Celebrants Network Incorporated was established in 2008, a number of submissions have been put to government bodies and other organisations, recommending a number of ways in which independent civil celebrants would be able to play important and unique celebrant roles in Australian communities.
There are other roles evolving as possibilities (eg. funeral coordinators), yet the challenge is how to maintain the core functions as independent celebrants for all occasions ie ensuring the ceremony and key role as celebrant is not overshadowed by organising the venue, refreshments, and all the ancillary things that support the ceremony itself.
From the Coalition of Celebrant Associations presentation on Workforce Development: "Where marriage was once the stable core of our work, the various changes over the last twenty years means that this is no longer the case.
From the statistics .... this means an average drop in income from around $32000 pa gross (in today's terms) in 1995, to around $6000 pa gross now. This is not ‘participating effectively in the labour market’." #
This challenge is ever present and hidden, as very few participants in our profession are unable to earn a full-time wage equivalent for their work, whereas 20 years ago at least one quarter could, and thus are not able to spend time focusing on the broader structural changes needed to advance their primary roles.
# In 2020, the current average of weddings per celebrant per annum is 10.3. This means that if every civil celebrant were charging $1000 per wedding, the average income across the sector would be $10,300 pa from wedding work - far below a taxable income. Of course an average means there will be celebrants making more, and celebrants making like.
However as the marriage market is relatively stable, it means that no matter how good the celebrant is, there are simply not enough weddings for the majority of civil marriage celebrants to make a taxable income from their wedding work alone.