Kindy triplets make up a quarter of Urandangi school cohort

Triplets Parker, Jasper and Mackenzie Dunn have started school in Urandangi this year.
Triplets Parker, Jasper and Mackenzie Dunn have started school in Urandangi this year.

Urandangi residents could be forgiven for seeing treble around the school playground this year.

Triplets Parker, Jasper, and Mackenzie Dunn have started school at the remote town 200km south-west of Urandangi, in outback Queensland, adding significantly to its population of 11.

The trio, soon to be turning four years old, will have plenty of moral support - dad Leigh Dunn is the Urandangi school principal.

Mr Dunn said the triplets were very excited at the prospect of donning school uniforms.

"They have been ready for about six months now," Mr Dunn said.

They will have the classroom all to themselves as they make up the entire kindy cohort among the 12 students altogether at the K-6 school.

Of the others, three are in Year 5, while the other levels prep to six have one student in each.

Amazingly in such a small school two of the three Year 5s are twins also.

Mr Dunn admits it will be tricky to prepare his own children for school while also acting as principal.

"My partner and I - predominantly my partner Angela - has been establishing routine," he said.

"Over the last couple of weeks, getting them prepared with waking up, getting dressed - they have been dressing themselves on their own for over 12 months now - eating breakfast, brushing teeth, putting on shoes."

Mr Dunn said the other students were mostly excited to be back.

"Over seven weeks break is a great deal to handle especially when the kids don't leave the township," he said.

"Most kids don't even get to go to Mount Isa much either."

This is Mr Dunn's second year as Urandangi State School principal, starting in an acting role and being appointed in the permanent position Mid-Term 3 and he plans to stay on.

"Normally, most principals complete the minimum of two years but our plan is to remain for at least another 3 years when the triplets have completed Year 1," he said.

The 2020 cohort of Urandangi State School on a visit to the Riversleigh Fossil Centre in Mount Isa.

The 2020 cohort of Urandangi State School on a visit to the Riversleigh Fossil Centre in Mount Isa.

Mr Dunn said there was two key reasons for being at the school on the Queensland-NT border.

"This is a great opportunity to commence my leadership journey and a principal at my previous school advised me that this opportunity allows anyone to learn their trade," he said.

"It teaches you to stand on your own two feet and provides great opportunities to embed your own philosophies into a schooling environment across a smaller scale."

And the second reason?

"I want to provide my own children an experience that they will hopefully treasure for the rest of their lives," he said.

"Kids in regional and metropolitan areas do not have such opportunities and in saying that I hope that this experience helps my own children to become more levelled individuals for when they are enrolled in such larger school or schools."

Mr Dunn said their experience of Outback Queensland had been rewarding.

"My partner and I love being involved in this community and it is certainly a great lifestyle for our own children and for the students of Urandangi State School," he said.

"Yes we do endure issues such as flooding from time to time and that isolates the township where we cannot leave to head into Mount Isa for supplies but that is usually only for a couple of weeks each year. The school itself does have issues arise from time to time such as generator failure, solar inverter failure, networking issues, fuel supply and storage, plumbing and so forth but being the principal I have becoming very good at identifying who to contact so fixing issues with assistance via the telephone can be achieved."

This story Triplets make up a quarter of this outback school cohort, entire kindy class first appeared on The North West Star.