The sense of nerves was palpable in Bendigo Trades Hall on Wednesday morning, where dozens of people had gathered to hear Australia's chief statistician David Kalisch announce the results of the marriage equality postal survey.
But the tension was quickly replaced by relief and joy when, shortly after 10am, Mr Kalisch revealed that 61.6 per cent of participating Australians had officially said ‘yes’ to marriage equality.
Cheers and applause rang out, people grabbed one another in joyful embraces, and tears of happiness flowed down cheeks.
Read more: How the yes vote unfolded in Bendigo, live
"Euphoric" is how Merle Stunnell described her feelings upon hearing the result, a huge smile spread across her face.
Noah Pinder said he had been concerned that the result would come "down to the wire", but as it turned out, 133 electorates said 'yes'.
"All of my anxieties just washed away," Mr Pinder said.
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Chloe Chappel, Isabella Somerville and Ashlyn McDonald spoke of how united they felt coming together with other marriage equality supporters when the result was announced.
"It was amazing," Isabella said of hearing the result.
Many also spoke of how happy they were to hear Bendigo had returned a 'yes' vote of 68.7 per cent, higher than not only Australia, but Victoria overall.
"I don't think I've ever felt prouder to choose this as my place to live," Ashlyn said.
In Victoria, 64.9 per cent voted yes and Australia-wide 61.6 per cent voted yes.
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