Community health group’s sigh of relief before celebrations

Cobaw Community Health breathed a sigh of relief before celebrating the “yes” to marriage equality survey result on Wednesday.

Chief executive Margaret McDonald said it was an amazing joyous occasion at their celebrations.

“When it was announced for a moment there was silence while we processed it then joy,” she said.

“There was also some sadness that we needed that survey at all. But overall it was a feeling of joy and celebration.”

The Kyneton-based Cobaw Community Health was one of 22 Victorian community health organisations to sign a joint statement supporting marriage equality.

At their celebrations, speakers included Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters, Macedon Ranges Shire councillor Natasha Gayfer and Cobaw’s board chair Riwka Hagen.

“Staff members and local community members also spoke and we had a message from Macedon MP Mary-Anne Thomas,” Ms McDonald said.

“In the weeks leading up to the announcement we held a number of events and increased counselling  support for people who needed extra assistance.

“We acknowledge how much of a challenge it has been for some people and think this is a great declaration of human rights.”