Media Release by Senator the Hon Amanda Vanstone

Acknowledging Older Australians and Groovy Grannies

Australian kids can help to celebrate International Day of Older Persons by entering their favourite story or picture about their grandparent in a special competition, Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Amanda Vanstone, said today.

“There are many different national awards given each year, but up until now there wasn’t one that paid tribute to the vital role that grandparents played in the lives of their grandchildren,” Senator Vanstone said.

“The Howard Government is delighted to sponsor the Woman’s Day, Groovy Grannies competition which is a way for young Australians to be able to demonstrate, in a creative way, why their grandparents are so important in their lives.

“Grandparents and grandchildren have a special connection. To celebrate this relationship and the International Day for Older Persons on October 1, the Government is giving kids the chance to win computers for themselves and their grandparents, plus Internet connections for 12 months so they can keep in touch via email.

“There will two prizes in each of three age groups. Children will be asked to write in 100 words or less about the special relationship that they have with their grandparent.

“Entry forms can be found in this week’s Woman’s Day.

“Grandparents are a great source of knowledge, skills, experience, ideas and wisdom, but sometimes these abilities are overlooked or taken for granted.

“Over the last few decades, grandparents have had an increasingly central role in families, especially in double income working families.

“Kids often look to their grandparents as role models. Grandparents can therefore have a profound and positive impact on shaping the future lives of young children.

“On a day which we recognise older Australians, it is fitting to acknowledge the role grandparents have in families and communities,” Senator Vanstone said.

Entry forms for the Woman’s Day Grandparents Competition, sponsored by the Department of Family and Community Services, are in the 8 October edition of Woman’s Day magazine, on sale from 1 October. Children from 5-8, 9-12 and teenagers will be able to enter with stories and pictures. Entries must be sent to GPO Box 5528, Sydney NSW 1181 by last mail October 22, 2001.