Grandfather and grandchild in the garden

Grandparent Alienation

Find out what Grandparent Alienation is about, why it happens and what you can do if you are in this situation. Discover more on this page including a helpful tip sheet.

Last updated: September 4, 2021
Senior woman in her garden

Responding to Grandparent Alienation as a form elder abuse by Relationships Australia

Addressing grandparent alienation, along with other forms of elder abuse, is a crucial priority.

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Grandparent Alienation Webinar

Grandparent Alienation occurs when grandparents are denied access to their grandchildren. It can vary from not being invited to a birthday party right through to no access at all. This can occur over a protracted period of time.

Compass held a webinar on Grandparent Alienation with a panel of experts who work with families in crisis. Philippa McDonald facilitated this conversation and was joined by Sue Field from Charles Sturt University, Gabrielle Passlow from Relationships Australia QLD and Adonis Antonio Maglis from PRONIA as they discussed the causes of Grandparent Alienation and what resources, services and solutions are available for families.

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Susan Field - Panelist
Sue Field is an Adjunct Associate Professor at Charles Sturt University, a Director of the Australian Centre for Elder Law Pty Ltd and a Distinguished Fellow at the Canadian Centre for Elder Law.

Sue was until recently co-editor of the Elder Law Review, the only refereed Elder Law journal in Australia. In conjunction with Professor Carolyn Sappideen and Karen Williams Sue has co-edited a recently released text on Elder Law and is working on a co-authored text on elder law for the layperson. Sue has taught Elder Law for many years, published widely and presented at many international and national events.

Sue is currently enrolled in a PhD(i) developing an innovative model for the teaching of Elder Law. Sue also learns the cello.

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Gabrielle Passlow - Panelist
Gabrielle Passlow has degrees in psychology and education, conflict resolution/mediation and post graduate qualifications in family dispute resolution and community sector management. Gabrielle has worked in mediation and family dispute resolution since 2004 and more recently as a practitioner in Elder Mediation with Relationships Australia QLD. Gabrielle is a Nationally Accredited Mediator and a Registered Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner with the Attorney Generals Department. Gabrielle was the technical writer for the research and development of nationally recognised qualifications for the Family Law workforce as part of the Attorney Generals workforce development reform in 2004 -2008. She continues to provide training, consulting, and mediation services in private practice in remote and regional Qld.

Gabrielle is passionate about the rights of older Australians and how those rights are negatively impacted by grandparent alienation as a form of elder abuse. She has an interest in grandparent’s choice of interventions in grandparent alienation matters, particularly Family Dispute Resolution in the Family Law context and Elder Mediation in a community service context.

What interventions and outcomes do grandparents seek in cases of grandparent alienation?

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Adonis Antonios Maglis - Panelist
Adonis Antonios Maglis is a Community Engagement and Capacity Building Officer at PRONIA, who is passionate about community development and supporting healthy, connected and inclusive communities. He facilitates the access and social inclusion of older people, and people with a disability from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds into the cultural, social, recreational and civic life in a number of areas across Melbourne.

With strong experience in CALD-based community development programs, health promotion, education, training and similar related environments; Adonis Antonios helps communities plan, collaborate and connect with a variety of programs, services and supports.


Philippa McDonald - Moderator
Philippa McDonald is a high profile, award winning journalist and communicator who has covered Australian and international news and current affairs. Her career has been built on breaking news and analysis on the biggest stories of our time.

Philippa was part of the team who won a Walkley for the ABC’s Bushfire Coverage. She is a contributor to the book “Black Summer” and was also one of those responsible for the YouTube documentary “The Anatomy of a Mega Blaze.”.

Philippa left the ABC in October. Since then she’s been co-producing films to tackle COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in Papua New Guinea, she’s been busy MCing, facilitating, hosting webinars, delivering keynotes addresses, media training and strategic communications.

Grandparent Alienation Tip Sheet Feature Image

Grandparent Alienation Tip Sheet

This helpful tip sheet includes information about why Grandparent Alienation happens, where you can get professional help and options you can consider to resolve alienation.

Learn more

Grandparent Alienation Resources

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