Dream Aussie wedding for grad­u­ates

The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and The Mearns Edition) - - NEWS -

A pair of Aber­tay Univer­sity grad­u­ates have won a dream beach wedding worth $15,000 in Aus­tralia.

Tracy Whitelaw, 42 and An­gela Simp­son, 50, will tie the knot at North Burleigh Surf Club, Queens­land in May — al­most 20 years to the day after they made their re­la­tion­ship of­fi­cial.

Their big day was only made pos­si­ble in the wake of the coun­try’s vote to le­galise same-sex mar­riage.

The cou­ple, who moved to Aus­tralia after grad­u­at­ing from Aber­tay, said they were “over­whelmed with hap­pi­ness” when the vote to make same-sex mar­riage le­gal was passed in De­cem­ber.

Tracy said the cam­paign for the yes vote had been a dif­fi­cult time for Aus­tralia’s gay com­mu­nity.

She added: “We wanted to get mar­ried ei­ther in Aus­tralia, or at least where our mar­riage out­side of Aus­tralia would have been recog­nised here.

“The vote was ex­tremely painful, con­fronting a dif­fi­cult time for our com­mu­nity here and a lot of hurt­ful, de­ceit­ful things were said about be­ing gay.

“Ev­ery day we were con­fronted by the no cam­paign and hate, but at the same time we also had so much love shown to us and so much sup­port. When the yes vote fi­nally came through, we were ab­so­lutely over­whelmed with hap­pi­ness.

“Our fam­ily were cry­ing with hap­pi­ness and were ex­tremely ex­cited that even­tu­ally we’d be able to get mar­ried.”

Tracy and An­gela moved to Aus­tralia in 2007 in “search of a new life”.

After the law was amended, the cou­ple quickly started plan­ning the wedding, with Tracy en­ter­ing an on­line com­pe­ti­tion of­fer­ing a $15,000 wedding to cel­e­brate the vote.

She said: “Need­less to say we were blown away when we won — we sim­ply can’t be­lieve it. North Burleigh Surf Club is right on the ocean on the Gold Coast and they’re look­ing after ev­ery­thing for us.”

Tracy at­tended Aber­tay from 1993 to 1997 and An­gela, orig­i­nally from Hull, from 1999 to 2003. They both stud­ied be­havioural science.

For­mer Aber­tay stu­dents Tracy Whitelaw and An­gela Simp­son will get mar­ried in Aus­tralia after a land­mark vote.

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