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17.12.18 | ICHM News

Vow Master

Derek Milligan is ICHM’s Director Student & Industry Engagement and Master of Ceremonies. A little less known is his role as a marriage celebrant.

Derek Milligan enjoys his role as ICHM’s Master of Ceremonies at most events. 

So much so that a friend suggested he would make a good public speaker, so 10 years ago he got the qualification to register as a Civil Celebrant.

This licenses him to officiate at various civil events, such as funeral and wedding services, and naming and renewal of vows ceremonies.

However, out of these he opted to go down the wedding path as he says it gives him enormous pleasure to be part of someone’s special day. 

Over the past decade he has conducted approximately 30 weddings, which include eight services for ICHM graduates and two for ICHM staff. 

‘Come to ICHM and get the full package’, he says with a laugh.

Locations have included in wineries, at hillside properties, in a woolshed, and on a beach at 7am on a 30-degree Sunday morning in January with a glorious sunrise. 

Initially he thought that being a celebrant would be an easy way to earn extra income; however, he has found it anything but. Quite apart from the investment in equipment and ongoing training and fees, a lot of time is devoted to earning a client’s respect, and in ongoing interaction and support. 

‘You need to be committed, so I do it as a hobby really and it keeps me off the

Derek gained his qualification through an independent registered training provider, plus he undertakes government-mandated five hours of professional development each year.

He says his role at ICHM and as a marriage celebrant go hand in hand; one complementing the other. Often my hospitality background and skills come to the fore in providing guidance and recommendations to the bridal party, and managing any last-minute changes due to inclement weather. Especially relevant to both roles is managing all of the guests in whatever the situation.

Derek has been with ICHM since the beginning, 1993, as a lecturer, and ‘retired’ as a senior lecturer in late 2015. He was back two months later, appointed into his current role as Director Student & Industry Engagement. 

‘I returned to ICHM as I believe in the quality of the product, and I can have a direct influence on the development of students’ education and careers in a very exciting industry.

‘ICHM has grown dramatically, but it remains very student-centric with a constant focus on high standards and expectations, both academically and in-industry performance.’

Please click here to see Derek's full profile on our website

Please click here to see Derek's marriage celebrant website