Here are the priority questions I think should be dealt with by the meeting of the December 2, 2014.
- The possibility of a new understanding of the relationship between the Attorney-General’s Department and working celebrants. i.e. Public Servants who are informed, supportive, and interested in what celebrants can do for individuals and society. AND celebrants who are informed with the knowledge of the history and purpose of civil celebrancy and who possess an attitude of cooperation.
- A thorough teaching of Section 48 of the Marriage Act – especially the last sentence of 48 (3). see – http://www.collegeofcelebrancy.com/pages4/Sect_48-Marriage_Act.html
- A Transfer of Section 39A to M – the powers of the registrar – to, mutatis mutandis, standing orders within the department – and the powers and responsibility be returned to the accountable minister i.e. to the Attorney-General.
- That public servants dealing with celebrants undergo a course of training in the nature and evolution of ceremony, the importance of culture, the psychological power of memorable events, and the nature of society. The course should include attendance at celebrant weddings, funerals, namings, and other secular ceremonies — with reports and critiques.
- There should be a serious ceremony at which celebrants are inducted into the profession, attended by the Attorney-General or his equal.
- That the Attorney-General assist celebrants expose our exploitation by Funeral Directors, who effectively control fees by not sub-contracting any celebrant who does not conform to their low fee, thus depressing standards.
There are many more issues which I have outlined in fate following articles and blogs:
Excellent set of recommendations, Dally. Especially the point regarding a ceremony to recognize the appointment as a celebrant. And, in my view, to celebrate milestones in a celebrants career – examples are 10, 15, 20, 25 etc year anniversaries. Older celebrants hold a very special place in the history, evolution and presence of celebrants in the community. I celebrated 30 years last year and some form of official recognition would have been most appreciated. It seems rather ironic to me that the very body that is charged with the responsibility of ensuring rites of passage in society are held in high esteem, do not actually make any form of recognition that a person has been appointed as a celebrant!!
Strange form of paradox there
A huge difficulty has been, over the past 30 years that the complex labyrinth of officialdom has complicated, desensitised and over supplied services that had no need to be altered in the first place.
Current celebrants do not know the saying ‘those who drink the water should remember who dug the well’. Older celebrants dug a plentiful supply of meaningful ceremonies which enriched and extended society.
Funerals have their particular issues – especially when there are few funeral outlets, lot of celebrants and the bottom line is cost.
You are wonderful, your insight and work smithing has elevated the industry and kept the lid on further exploitation and commercialism.
I think it was Dr Seuss who said when you find someone who is clever and smart, then you are lucky. We are all very, very lucky Dally.