Twice a year the Marriage Law and Celebrants Section (MLCS) of the Attorney General’s Department meets with representatives of celebrants associations to discuss the potential impact of policies and legislative changes to the Marriage Celebrants Programme.
For many years, only members of the Coalition of Celebrant Associations and representatives of the Australian Federation of Civil Celebrants were invited to those meetings.
Change is in the air
This year the MLCS changed the wording on their website about these biannual meetings, to note that they meet with “celebrant associations and networks”. Nowhere was a definition of “celebrant associations and networks” published.
We decided that the members of the Celebrant Institute could be viewed as a “celebrant network”, so we wrote to MLCS on 23 September asking for recognition as a celebrant network and inclusion in the biannual consultation meetings.
We’ve got a seat at the table
We’re thrilled to announce that on 30 September we received an email from MLCS inviting us to attend the next meeting between MLCS and celebrant associations and networks, and to be part of this group on an ongoing basis. Sarah will be attending the meeting in Canberra on 28 October on your behalf.
We were invited to submit suggested items for discussion, but decided to not do so for our first meeting; although Sarah has many, many things to say, we decided it would be best if we sat back and observed for our first meeting (although we acknowledge it’s highly unlikely that Sarah will be able to keep her mouth shut). For future meetings though, we will be canvassing all our members about the issues that are most important to you, that you would like us to raise.
Here’s hoping we can start to effect some change!
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It would be great know when the new NOIM is I’ll finally be ready and while perhaps not an AG issue – why can’t all states electronically lodge their marriage docs to BDM as in SA we still need to post and it’s so tedious.
You’d have to take that up with the South Australian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages I’m afraid! Marriage registration is managed by the state governments, and they all have different systems. Lobby your local State Member of Parliament to get this recommended!
We’re really hoping the new NOIM and other paperwork will be ready by the end of the year.
Congratulations Sarah and Josh, that is brilliant news. Thank you for all your hard work.