- Up to 3000 people – twins, higher number multiples, and their families and friends – attended the event on Sunday
- The festival attracted twins from over Australia, including the oldest identical triplets Betsy, Florence and Dorothy
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- There’s was even a scientific side to the festival, with academics scouting for recruits to use in research projects
- Festival Chairperson Karen Willetts said the festival is also about having fun and supporting multiple birth families
You may have found yourself doing a double take last weekend when the 2015 Twins Plus Festival was held to honour the marvel of mutiple birth. Thousands of twins converged in Melbourne for the biggest gathering of twins (plus higher number multiples such as triplets, quadruplets and above) in the southern hemisphere.
Up to 3000 people – twins, higher number multiples, and their families and friends – attended the event on, Sunday 22 March at Caulfield Racecourse, southeast Melbourne.
Florence Welsh, one of Australia’s oldest triplets, attended Twins Plus with her sisters Betsy and Dorothy, aged 75.
She told Daily Mail Australia she couldn’t imagine life without her siblings. It would be devastating. We’re very close, we finish each others sentences all the time and we’re always checking up on each other,’ she said. Welsh said it was incredible to see so many twins together in one place.
The festival offered something for everyone, with rides for all ages, celebrity twin meet-and-greets, twin-talent performances and even shopping and exhibits unique to twins.
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There was even a scientific side to the event, with researchers scouting for recruits to use in projects that will examine the science and psychology of life for multiple birth siblings.
Associate professor of the Australian Twin Registry Jeff Craig said researchers were on their feet all day. ‘There was a vast number of twins who had come purely to speak with the researchers. There were teams conducting studies on epilepsy, cardiovascular disease, and autism through the frame of multiple birth siblings,’ he said.
NSW identical twin surf lifesavers Stuart and Phillip Daniels attended the festival for the fourth time – and they’ve been to other twin festivals around the world.
‘Twin festivals are like nothing else we’ve been to, and we have travelled extensively around the world.
We all have so much in common as twins and it’s great to share stories about our twin lives. Once you go to one, you go back again and again as they are so interesting and fun,’ said Phillip Daniel.
Festival Chairperson Karen Willetts – herself a mother of 13-year-old twins – said while the focus is on having a good time, it is also about supporting multiple birth families.
‘Life in families with multiples can sometimes be difficult because of the extra strain on finances, added stress on relationships, and difficulties with educational outcomes,’ she said.
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‘We want families with multiples to know there is a lot of support around them and they’re not alone.’