Grandparents Day in Australia

Next Sunday, 27 October 2024

National Grandparents Day is an annual celebration that takes place on the last Sunday in October, Although observed throughout the country it is not a public holiday. Most businesses will continue to follow Sunday working hours.

The celebration is on a different day to Grandparents Day in other parts of the world, in the UK it is on the first Sunday in October, in non-English speaking countries it also varies; in Portugal, it is in July (in Portuguese: Dia dos avós). Other countries such as Canada and India share the same date as The US (The Second Sunday in September.


National Grandparents Day was originally an American celebration before it traveled across the globe to Australia, and it came about due to the efforts of two people:

Jacob Reingold

In 1961, Jacob Reingold, the executive vice president of Hebrew Home of Riverdale (a care home for older adults), attended a conference on aging in the White House. Driven by what he heard, he sought to do something to honor all grandparents: a special day. This was first celebrated in the Hebrew Home in September 1961. On January 27, 1987, Mario Biaggi, a member of The House of Representatives, remarked for the record a "Tribute to Jacob Reingold, pioneer in efforts to gain national recognition for grandparents". 

Marian McQuade

Marian McQuade's concern about the number of lonely and isolated grandparents in homes motivated her to start a campaign in 1970 for a special day for them. She wanted their families and others in the community to benefit from their care and wisdom. She gained the support of local leaders.

Handwritten message in crayon saying ‘happy grandparents day’ covered in doodles

American Origins 

The very first Grandparents Day celebration in Jacob Reingold's Hebrew Home of Riverdale involved activities such as "a picnic and carnival, complete with ponies and merry-go-rounds and games and prizes." (recorded in congress). In 1961 about 3500 people attended the first Grandparents Days events in this Home, two years later, in 1963, 5000 people attended.  

In 1973, the Governor of West Virginia, Arch Moore, declared Grandparents Day a statewide holiday. With determination, the campaign reached Congress, and in 1978 a bill was passed. On September 6, 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed a proclamation declaring the first Sunday after Labor Day Grandparents Day.

President Carter's proclamation explained why this day is so important:

I urge each citizen to pause and to reflect on the influence his grandparents have had in shaping his own destiny, and on the legacy bestowed upon our contemporary society by his grandparents' generation.

Grandparents are our continuing tie to the past, to the events beliefs, and experiences that so strongly affect our lives and the world around us. Whether they are our own, or surrogate grandparents who fill some of the gaps in our evolving society, our senior generation provides society with a link to its national heritage and traditions. 

Grandparents day

Modern Celebrations

Grandparents Day is not only about spending time with family but also about acknowledging what we can gain from grandparents, such as an understanding of our history, wisdom, and guidance. Schools, nursing homes, etc. arrange fun and exciting events for families to visit. Families can also make personalized gifts and cards to show how much they cherish their grandparents.

Social Awareness

One important purpose of Grandparents Day is to raise awareness of the role that grandparents have in modern society, and raising awareness can take many forms. People will be sharing the hashtag #DoSomethingGrand and others will be swapping their profile pictures for images of their grandparents. You could also share a story of your grandparents with your friends and family to help people see just how much your grandma or grandpa is appreciated. 

Some parts of Australia will have their own celebrations, such as NSW where there is an award for Local Grandparent of the Year, and official resource packs are available with posters and activities to do. 

Grandfriends Day

In 2022 some schools in the NSW area changed the name of Grandparents Day to Grandfriends Day. The changes were initially made to welcome residents of a local care home to events that were taking place. Other schools started to change the name of their events too. The changes were criticized by some politicians and commentators who felt that the move was part of political correctness and the cancel culture movement. 

Grandparents Day Facts

  • Communities and schools all across Australia organize special events and activities. These might include school assemblies, morning teas, and art exhibitions.
  • The Official Song for Grandparents Day is A Song for Grandma and Grandpa by Johnny Prill.
  • You can make a tribute in honor of someone at the official website:

Grandparents Day in Australia
Grandparents Day in Australia

Grandparents Day in Australia 2024

Date: Sunday, 26 October 2025

Date: Sunday, 25 October 2026

Date: Sunday, 31 October 2027

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