Triplets reach milestone as they embark on first day of school

Family: Sarina, Danica, Xavier, Ryder, Talia and Daniel Minnelli at St Vincent’s Primary School last week. photograph alyssa fritzlaff

Alyssa Fritzlaff

THE Minnelli triplets started their school adventure at St Vincent De Paul Primary School last week.

Danica, Xavier and Ryder were born to Sarina and Daniel Minnelli on November 13, 2015.

The triplets big sister Talia, who also attends St Vincent’s Primary, was there to introduce her younger siblings to school life.

Back in 2015, the triplets appeared in The Express, when parents Sarina and Daniel partnered with The Multiple Birth Volunteer Support Foundation to search for volunteers to help them care for the three infants.

At the time, their older sister was under the age of two, and the couple knew they had their work cut out for them caring for four very young children.

“We found out at the eight-week ultrasound… we were in total shock,” Ms Minnelli said.

Luckily, the couple were not alone and had a total of 11 volunteers step forward to assist them at the beginning of their journey.

Pauline Prowse and Alison May were among the volunteers chosen to help the family, and are still a big part of their life today.

They stood with Sarina, Daniel and the triplets grandparents out the front of St Vincent’s to see the kids off on their first day. The pair said they were always present at birthday parties, shopping trips and doctor’s appointments.

Ms Prowse said it was “privilege” to be involved with the triplets.

“We’d done it all before with our own kids… it was like being surrogate nanas, we enjoyed every minute of it,” Ms Prowse said.

“We have always been included with family activities,” Ms May added.

Ms Minnelli said they faced many challenges, including feeding around the clock, many, many nappies and a massive triplet pram which was a whopping 17 kilos.

The huge pram, the ABC Adventure Buggy, was one of the only prams out there large enough to carry all three triplets, who, in the first three weeks would go through 32 nappies every day.

To help with their overload of nappies, the couple were even given an extra large rubbish bin by the council so they could keep up.

“We’ve been really lucky,” Ms Minnelli said.

“They never missed out on anything.”

While the couple were thrilled to have their three youngest start their school journey, they said the experience was a ‘‘bit emotional, but very exciting’’.

The triplets did appear very excited on their first day and were all decked out in their new school uniforms with names stitched on their backpacks.

Their faces lit up as they greeted their many friends from kindergarten who are joining them in prep this year.

Mr Minnelli said the triplets were “excited” to be starting at the school, especially because their new principal Dave Cooper barracks for Richmond – just like them.

It was also Mr Cooper’s first day as St Vincent’s principal, having moved over from Lumen Christi Primary in Churchill.

In addition to the new triplets, St Vincent’s also had a pair of twin’s starting at the school, Amelia and Leon Pierisge-Fernando.

Mr Cooper said he has never had triplets at a school before, and certainly never a set of twins and triplets starting prep on the same day.

“We are excited to be starting the new year, and are looking forward to re-engaging with the school’s families and the community,” Mr Cooper said.

The school is currently in the midst of building eight new classrooms, making the school safer and more efficient for students, he said.

“This is a significant time in the school’s history.”