Marriage celebrants are required to do five hours annual professional development annually. I chose to do mine earlier this week as part of the Australian Federation of Civil Celebrant annual conference which was held in Melbourne this year.
It was a great opportunity for networking with other celebrants as well as keeping up with the latest changes to the Marriage Act which came into effect in December 2017. The marriage equality bill has brought about a few changes to the legal paperwork and the wording in the ceremony. The description of the parties to the marriage is now Party One and Party Two, and they can call themselves Groom, Bride or Partner. When saying their vows they have to use the words husband, wife or partner in marriage
The biggest change is to “The Monitum” (a passage from the marriage act) which the celebrant is required to say during the ceremony. The words “Marriage according to law in Australia is the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others” can no longer be said. Instead the words, “Marriage according to law in Australia is the union of two people to the exclusion of all others” must be said.
There are other minor changes. I was surprised to learn that we can no longer call ourselves “civil celebrant” but must add the word civil marriage celebrant or just use marriage celebrant.