Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Australia's First Teenage Disabled Marriage Celebrant

We received this press release from a very proud mother, and I simply had to share this with you all…

James Davies is 19 and has Spastic Quadriplegia Cerebral Palsy as a result of being born prematurely, 14 weeks early. Despite being permanently confined to an electric wheelchair, James is a very talented young man and 2009 was a huge year for James.

On February 24th 2009 James underwent major 9 hour spinal fusion surgery, where a series of titanium rods were used to correct his scoliosis. 

 James in ICU after his Surgery

Recovery from the operation usually takes around 12 months; however after 5 months James was beating the odds and eager to begin studying again to help him “get back into the groove” before returning to TAFE to finish his Diploma in Business.

After attending his cousin’s civil wedding ceremony, James thought he might investigate becoming a Marriage Celebrant. A few days later, he hopped on Google and found an online course with the Academy of Celebrancy Australia which mentioned a software package called Celebrant Express that produces all the marriage certificates electronically and allows the user to print them out on their home printer, eliminating the need for copious amounts of handwriting (handwriting is a challenge for James). All the Celebrant has to do is enter the data into the computer, generate the forms using the software, print the forms out and sign them. Therefore, James enrolled in the online course and passed all activities with flying colours, whilst completing his Diploma at Central TAFEWA. Effectively, James was completing two full-time courses – a mammoth task for anyone – let alone someone with a disability.  James is articulate, tech-savvy and is able to sign his signature, so I have no doubt that James will be able to provide an outstanding service to couples who wish to marry.

Proudly, James is now officially a Marriage Celebrant. You can find his name on the Attorney General’s website by following the link below and scrolling down to ‘D’:

You can also find out more about James and his endeavours from the Centre for Cerebral Palsy’s ‘You Be The Difference’ website:

James is an inspirational guy, and has faced many obstacles over the course of his life, always with a smile on his face and an amazingly positive attitude.  He is very ambitious and has just enrolled in Curtin University to study Commerce. Furthermore, he is planning a tour to Melbourne for a group of disabled people from around the country, which he hopes will transpire in December this year, as well as co-authoring a manuscript over the internet with a girl in New Zealand who is his ‘pen pal’ (She too has Cerebral Palsy). Remarkably, the pair has never met in person, although the story they are writing will be an absolute thriller! Their manuscript is in the hands of an editor at the moment and they are due to send it to a Literary Agent in April.

James’ goal is to be Australia’s first teenage disabled Marriage Celebrant to marry a couple, meaning he would very much like to solemnise a marriage before he turns 20 on July 3rd, 2010.

About a month ago James registered his business name, Cape Diem Celebrancy Services. Carpe Diem is a Latin phrase translating to ‘Seize the Day’. Seizing the day is exactly what James has done every day of his life, making every post a winner. I thought James’ story may interest you. I hope that you might be able to assist James in attracting some clients before he turns 20, to ensure, he is, in fact, Australia’s first Teenage Disabled Marriage Celebrant to solemnise a marriage. A romantic at heart, James loves seeing people happy together and can’t wait to tailor a marriage ceremony to the couples’ needs and desires to create a lovely experience for everyone involved. His aim is to give the couples he serves a joyous memory to cherish as they begin the next chapter of their lives together.

More information about James' business is available from Carpe Diem Celebrancy Services' Facebook fan page here: 

If you would be interested in having James conduct a wedding for you, please contact him on 0401 765 458 or… 

Have a lovely day!… Anna