Willaston couple named Grandparents of the Year

RECOGNITION: Light MP Tony Piccolo catches up with Willaston grandparents Geoff and Maxine Bolland and their grandchildren Isaac and Bailey. Photo: Supplied
RECOGNITION: Light MP Tony Piccolo catches up with Willaston grandparents Geoff and Maxine Bolland and their grandchildren Isaac and Bailey. Photo: Supplied

Willaston couple Geoff and Maxine Bolland have been selected as the 2019 Australian Grandparents of the Year.

Maxine and Geoff were nominated by Grandparents 4 Grandchildren South Australia (GFGSA) for the care of their grandsons Isaac and Bailey.

Light MP Tony Piccolo said he was aware of the huge contribution Maxine and Geoff have made to the raising of their two grandsons and was not surprised by either their nomination or award.

The award is a way of celebrating the contributions of Grandparents and gives people an opportunity to thank the grandparents in their lives who are the unsung quiet achievers of the family and community.

Mr Piccolo said the couple, like many grandparents, have had to make substantial changes to their own lives to care for their two grandsons.

"Despite facing ongoing challenges, the couple have provided their grandsons with unconditional love and support and both boys have made significant progress since being in a nurturing, loving environment," Mr Piccolo said.

He shared how GFGSA were proud to have supported the two grandparents as their lives have continued to change and new challenges appear.

GPGSA is a not for profit organisation dedicated to supporting grandparents, who for whatever reason, have the full-time care of their grandchildren.

GPGSA understand that each grandparent's journey is unique and have undertaken to walk it with them, to assist and advocate for their families.

The group often steps in with support when governments fail to do so.

Mr Piccolo said Geoff and Maxine continue to advocate for the rights of grandparent carers hamstrung by a 'one size fits all' child protection policies.

"Importantly, they provide recognition for those grandparents who receive little or no financial support despite saving the government millions every year.

"Maxine and Geoff have had to jump enormous bureaucratic hurdles to keep their grandchildren out of the foster care system and give them the opportunity to thrive, not just survive."