It's official! Denise is truly a great gran

HOLDING the newly-minted title of carer grandparent of the year is something both surprising and emotional for Ballina grandmother Denise Duroux.

Ms Duroux travelled to Sydney on Saturday with her four grandchildren for the Council on the Ageing NSW award ceremony, where she was selected from more than 100 entries across the state for the title of Grandparent of the Year Carer Award.

"When I was told I was the winner, it was very emotional," she said.

GREAT GRAN: Denise Duroux, of East Ballina, with her grandchildren, from left, Kerry Johnson, 11, Courtney Johnson, 13, Issac Duroux, 12, and George Johnson, 15.
GREAT GRAN: Denise Duroux, of East Ballina, with her grandchildren, from left, Kerry Johnson, 11, Courtney Johnson, 13, Issac Duroux, 12, and George Johnson, 15. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Ms Duroux said it was difficult to see herself as an outstanding grandparent carer in amongst the daily madness to get everything - from chores to being on time for sport practice - done.

"Lots of friends and community and school and sporting people, they continually remind me that I'm doing a good job, but sometimes you don't see that," she said.

Ms Duroux has been the full-time carer for her four grandchildren - Kerry Johnson, 11, Courtney Johnson, 13, Issac Duroux, 12 and George Johnson, 15 - for almost 10 years.

Each one is a member of at least two sporting teams, including soccer, netball, cricket, rugby league and basketball.

Ms Duroux said as a grandparent carer, she had to tread a fine line between the roles of mother, father and grandparent.

She said her parenting and grand parenting style drew largely from her mother Bertha Kapeen, who had eight children, and her grandfather Bob Bolt, who she grew up with on Cabbage Tree Island.

"Maybe that's where I learnt to have a firm hand because he took no nonsense," she said.

Ms Duroux said the most important attributes she wanted to teach her grandchildren were honesty, respect and self-worth.

Council on the Ageing NSW CEO Ian Day said Ms Duroux was a very worthy winner of this year's award and a "truly outstanding grandparent carer".

"She assumed full-time care of four grandkids nearly 10 years ago when their mother could no longer raise them," he said.



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