Anne McLeish is the Director of Grandparents Victoria.
Below Anne outlines the background, role and importance of Grandparents Victoria. If you would like to find out more information, the contact details are at the end of the article.
Is Grandparents Victoria aligned to a political party?
No. Grandparents Victoria enjoys support from a wide range of members of parliament. We do all we can to ensure that support for, and understanding of, our work is be drawn from across the political spectrum.
Our members are currently drawn from all walks of life and hold a range of all political views but any differences amongst us become unimportant when talking about our grandchildren. We are bound together by our determination to do more to improve matters for all the community’s grandchildren.
How are the organisations priorities determined?
Grandparents determine the priorities of the association. Members, who are grandparents, are regularly invited to complete a questionnaire. The results of this questionnaire form the basis for the association’s priorities. The next review is due early in 2006. .
How did Grandparents Victoria start?
It was started by a small group of grandparents who thought that there was a need for an association that promoted the role of grandparents in the 21st century and took action to support grandchildren across the community.
Grandparents Victoria believes that grandparents have a responsibility to be active in support of the needs of grandchildren.
What is expected of members?
As much, or as little, as they are able to undertake. We have members who are very active in their local communities and others who participate more passively.
The most important thing members can do in this early stage is to join up and help shape the priorities of the association. That way they are giving voice to grandparent’s views and being part of the statewide effort to have grandparents better recognised as a dynamic force in society.
Who can join grandparents Victoria?
Any-one. However, only grandparents can become full members. This restriction is designed to ensure that Grandparents Victoria reflects the views of grandparents and not the views of others.
Many people and organisations wishing to support our work are becoming associate members. This entitles them to all membership benefits other than being able to stand for election to the Board or influence the priorities of the association.
The joining fee is kept as low as possible in order to make it possible for people from all economic backgrounds to join and ensure that the association representative of grandparents from all walks of life.
What does Grandparents Victoria do?
We employ a range of strategies according to the needs and interests of our members. We attempt to inform the wider community of our views and to further educate ourselves about issues in which we are interested. Much of what we do is based on the assumption that our members can go on learning and become well informed articulate advocates for families. Our suite of strategies includes:
► The conduct of seminars
►Connecting grandparents across the State
►Researching issues on request of members
►Producing newsletters and occasional papers
►Speaking to community groups
►Meeting with other organisations
What are the benefits to members?
Members can enjoy the company of other grandparents from all walks but bound by a commitment to taking action to improve the quality of life for their own and other grandchildren.
Members can take advantage of the opportunity to influence the agenda of the grandparents movement. It is at the formal and informal gatherings of grandparents that the issues upon which grandparents take action arise.
Members receive free of charge:
►The Grandparent newsletter
►Research papers on issues of current interest to grandparents
►Attendance to the annual luncheon
►A sympathetic hearing from the staff at the Grandparents Victoria office.
Grandparents Victoria is a community association launched by the Governor of Victoria in July 2001 to:
►Provide support services to grandparents
►Link grandparents across the state and the nation
►Link grandparents with young people to develop dialogue between and across the generations.
►Identify, articulate and promote the needs of grandchildren and grandparents
►Represent the views of grandparents in public consultations.
►Encourage and facilitate mentoring opportunities for people
In launching Grandparents Victoria the Governor of Victoria, Mr. Landy, spoke of his personal appreciation of the role of grandparents. He and his wife Lynn believed grandparents to be so important that they arranged to adopt a grandparent when none were readily available for their own children.
What is the contact for Grandparents Victoria Inc?
Grandparents Victoria Inc.
14 Youlden Street
Telephone: (03) 9372 2422