It is that time of year again when the summer holidays draw to a close and the children go back to school.
It was a particularly busy start to this year's school-term for Bernadette Curry who has all five of her children at St Joseph's Catholic Primary School in Northcote.
Today also marked a new era for five-year-old twins, Darcy and Hugh, who will walk through the school gates for the first time.
Ever since they were born, they have been watching their brothers Angus, 7, and Joel, 9, and sister Bridget, 11, head off for school, and this morning it was their turn.
"They will be really excited," Bernadette said. "It's been a long time coming, they have been talking about for a long time. They have been getting ready for it."
"I'm so excited to go to school today," Darcy said as he pulled on his sparkly new shoes.
It will be no easy task for Bernadette and her husband John getting their brood ready for school every day.
In the Curry household preparation is key to getting a new school day off to a good start.
Ms Curry says she will spend two hours preparing lunches at night, using up an entire loaf of bread to make five rounds of sandwiches every day.
Uniforms are also washed and prepared the night before ready to go for the morning.
With five primary school-aged kids, everything adds up.
Shoes alone have set the family back $650 while the average supermarket visit is $400 a week.
"I feel like I'm shopping all the time," Bernadette said. "We run low on everything all the time. They go through a lot of milk, a lot of bread, a lot of cereal."
Bernadette cannot believe that for the first time in 11 years, she will have the house all to herself.
"I'm sad because I won't have anybody at home with me during the day, but I'm excited too."
John, who works night shifts, says he's looking forward to having the house to himself and a bit of peace and quiet.
"It will be nice to have a quiet house," he said. "It will be a nice treat."
Tens of thousands of children across Victoria are packing their lunch boxes and lacing up their shoes as the first of the state's schools open for the new year.
Some schools will not return for another fortnight.
Nearly 900,000 students are enrolled in public and private schools around the state this year, with more than 75,000 students starting prep over the next few days.
Police say it is a stark reminder that the 40km/h speed zones are now back in action.Speeding drivers could be slapped with fines of up to $704, the loss of their licence and have their cars impounded.
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