Guenter Willi Buegler, 66, and Gurjit Singh, 50, last week became the 100th couple in Victoria to have their relationship formally recognised by the Victorian Relationships Register.
The couple have been together 20 years. They met on April 22, 1989 in Malaysia while Singh was working as an engineer in Kuala Lumpur and Buegler, a German national, was en route to Australia working as a Lufthansa flight attendant.
Singh migrated to Australia in 1989 and the pair now divide their time between Frankfurt, Germany and Melbourne.
The couple are going through a similar process in Germany to register their partnership.
Victorian Deputy Premier and Attorney-General Rob Hulls congratulated the Melbourne couple and said the milestone highlighted the success of the new register.
The register provides recognition that a couple is in a loving, caring relationship and makes it easier for them to access their entitlements without having to repeatedly provide evidence of their relationship, Hulls said.
The register has now given 100 couples the opportunity to acknowledge their committed relationship and know that their decision is respected in Victoria.
Buegler, who said the couple have no intention to marry even if it was available, told Sydney Star Observer they decided to register their relationship after 20 years to feel more legally secure.
Actually we don’t want to be married. We just want to have the same rights as other couples. That is the important thing for us -” to be recognised by the rest of society that we are registered partners and we want to have the same rights.
We are very happy we could do this here in Australia.
The couple also celebrated their union with a romantic dinner on their anniversary date and a holiday in Samoa.
Since the register was established last December, more male couples than female have registered their relationships, with male couples making up 50 percent of registrations.
Six heterosexual couples have also registered since the scheme began.
We are very pleased with the number of applications received to date, and expect this number to grow as more reform at a national level recognises the rights of couples in a domestic relationship, Births, Deaths and Marriages Registrar Helen Trihas said.
Domestic partners are now recognised in almost 80 Victorian Acts and registration of a relationship provides conclusive proof of a domestic relationship in Victoria.
To register, couples need to be over 18 years of age and both be living in Victoria.
The cost of applying to register a relationship is $180.
info: For more information on the Victorian Relationships Register and how it works visit bdm.vic.gov.au.