This February, Trish Kernahan’s long‑held dream will come true when she marries Terri Zerafa at The Mint.

How did you meet and when did you know this was a lifetime love?

Terri and I met on 8 January 1987, 31 years ago. It was in a popular bar in Oxford Street, Darlinghurst – we were introduced by a mutual friend at after-work drinks on a Thursday night. Romance quickly blossomed and we’ve been wonderfully happy together ever since (except when we’re fighting!). One night Terri offered me a glass of champagne and attached to the side of the glass was a gold bracelet. She said to me, ‘Come live with me and be my love’, and the rest is history.

After years of debate about the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Australia, what’s the significance for you and your family of the yes vote?

It was very hurtful to us in 2004 when the Marriage Amendment Act was rushed through parliament to explicitly exclude same-sex couples. The last couple of years of the marriage equality campaign had both highs and lows – a high being when the Chief Statistician finally announced in November 2017 that 61.6 per cent of people had said YES, Australia really was the socially harmonious nation we hoped and believed it to be. But the greatest high has been from all the heartfelt congratulations we’ve received from our family and friends since announcing our plans to marry in February.

What’s your connection to SLM?

I worked for 38 years in the public service, and 24 of those years in the Arts portfolio, with the last three in the SLM Executive looking after corporate services. For a period I was also responsible for the Western Sydney property portfolio, which has left me with a soft spot for Rouse Hill House & Farm, Elizabeth Farm and of course the beautiful Meroogal. Terri and I both loved coming to SLM events before I worked there, and since retiring I’ve become an SLM member and we continue to pop up at events across the sites.

Which SLM site have you chosen for your wedding and why?

When I worked in The Mint building I used to see the beautiful set-ups for weddings held in the courtyard and thought to myself, if ever Terri and I can get married this would be the place for us. We’re actually now going to have our wedding lunch at No.10 Bistro on the long front balcony of the former Sydney Hospital Mint building. We chose this venue not only because it’s a prestigious colonial building, but also for practical reasons – it’s on Macquarie Street close to public transport for all our guests who can enjoy a drink, and because I know Fresh Catering are fabulous and the food will be delicious.

This article originally appeared in Unlocked: The Sydney Living Museums Gazette, our Members’ magazine.

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