20 Years of GPV History
On 29 April 2001 the first informal gathering to discuss the feasibility of forming a grandparent organisation was held, and in June 2001 Grandparents Victoria Inc. was registered with the Department of Consumer Affairs in Victoria as a community not-for-profit organisation.
In July 2001, although the GPV Board was committed to the task, a lack of funds and shortage of participants available at that time prevented long-term planning. The thought was the GPV would make as big an impact as it could for as long as it could, and so operations were undertaken in one six-month block at a time.
From humble beginnings, with only four core members before that first meeting in 2001, GPV has flourished. By 2002 GPV had attracted over 100 individual members, and with the registration of GPA was beginning to attract member organisations from interstate (15 in total).
A milestone was reached in 2011, when kinship care became a focus of the organisation.
Another milestone was reached in 2013 when the formation of the Kinship International Network (KIN) introduced another 11 member organisations to the fold. At the time of writing, membership numbers continue to grow.
GPV membership has expanded in unexpected ways. Never would the board members at that first meeting have envisaged that the organisation would form other organisations – in the case of Grandparents Australia, within a very short time after GPV was formed. Even harder to believe would have been the thought that GPV might form an international organisation, as it has with the KIN.
Early in its history GPV recognised it was not possible to achieve lasting improvements in the lives of children by working alone. Most of what was required necessitated changes to government policy and practice, so partnerships with other organisations were crucial. The partnerships formed have been crafted in response to the needs of children and families.
Relationships with key people in organisations other than GPV have been vital. Many issues addressed by GPV have required quick action, such as writing letters to politicians to be sent off within days. It is a credit to the power of the relationships GPV enjoys that this can often be done not just by GPV alone, but by its partner organisations as well. Personal trust and shared commitment makes this quick action possible.
– 2001 Formed Grandparents Victoria
– 2002 Formed Grandparents Australia
– 2011 Formed Kinship Carers Victoria
– 2013 Formed Kinship International Network Joined International Play Association