Sigrun Nerge and Yvonne Higgs marry after 34 years together

Proud: Michael and Leanne Higgs with Yvonne Higgs, Sigrun Nerge and celebrant Bruce Pine.
Proud: Michael and Leanne Higgs with Yvonne Higgs, Sigrun Nerge and celebrant Bruce Pine.

For Sigrun Nerge and Yvonne Higgs their meeting was not unlike how the majority of couples are first introduced.

An invitation to coffee at a friend’s house and from there, as they say, one thing led to another.

“I came to Australia from Germany in 1973,” Sigrun said, “and met Yvonne in 1984 and from there, we’ve been together ever since.”

The community has always been accepting and tolerant of us with the two kids.

Sigrun Nerge

Being a lesbian couple with two children and living in a small village doesn’t come without an expectation that some people may not be so accepting, but Mrs Nerge believes that it hasn’t been the case at all.

‘The community has always been accepting and tolerant of us with the two kids,” she said. 

“Overall since our arrival here in 1987 we’ve been treated very lovingly.

“They (the kids) didn’t have too much of a hassle at school.”

As for the referendum’s outcome, the couple are split as to what their expectations were of the result.

“I was absolutely delighted because I was hoping it would come through and we had talked about marriage a long time before,” Mrs Nerge said.

Mrs Higgs though said that she didn’t carry any expectations that it would pass.

“Frankly, I never thought that the day would come,” she said.

“We knew it had happened in other countries but I thought that no, it wouldn’t happen here, and I was quite sceptical about the whole thing.

“But it did, so after it was passed we decided why not, let’s do this.”

For marriage celebrant Bruce Pine, the couple’s wedding was his first same sex ceremony.

“They really are a wonderful couple and it was a tremendous service to be a part of,” he said.