Lara Dunkley, Josh Dunkley, Kyle Dunkley, siblings, sporting family, Andrew Dunkley, Sydney, Western Bulldogs, trade, Brisbane Lions, Queensland Firebirds

The Dunkley family are happier together, with athletic siblings Lara, Josh and Kyle who have now reunited in Queensland after the brothers decided to leave Victoria and head north in 2023.

The family split in 2020 when Lara followed her dream and signed for Super Netball’s Queensland Firebirds as she searched for more playing time.

Before that, the siblings were close, living together with Lara, who represented the Melbourne Vixens, and younger brothers Josh (Western Bulldogs) and Kyle (Melbourne), who played in the AFL.

But it took a huge sacrifice for both Josh — who left the Western Bulldogs in a headlining trade in late 2022 — and Kyle to join Lara Interstate.

Watch Fox Sports Australia’s full documentary on The Dunkleys on Channel 505 Saturday night after the Thunderbirds-Swifts game and on Kayo!

“We are all reunited in the same city. The lifestyle is great – that’s probably what we’re more used to on the farm (Queensland based). Here you can go outside all the time,” Josh told Fox Sports Australia.

“It’s nice to be able to start fresh for both of us in the town where our sister is.

“It was a different move but I’m excited.”

The Dunkley siblings were reunited in Queensland.
The Dunkley siblings were reunited in Queensland.Source: FOX SPORTS

Sacrifice is no stranger to the Dunkley siblings, having watched their parents – father Andrew, who played 217 games for the Sydney Swans, and mother Lisa – sacrifice their time to ensure the trio had the best sporting opportunities.

The siblings played almost every sport imaginable and were part of the same AFL junior team — but even then, the desire to compete was clear.

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Kyle laughed as he recalled how the siblings were once sent out to take a peep test on their driveway immediately after their junior team suffered a 120-point drubbing.

“We were just playing a game and (dad) was just brutal,” he laughed.

Kyle said the family had become “close” because of the “crazy” hours they spent in the car, commuting from the family farm in Yarram to Melbourne for youth sport at least four times a week.

“(Josh and I) both played basketball (while Lara played state netball) in Melbourne on Friday night. We got home, got home around 2am and went to sleep. Dad woke us up at 7 a.m. and said, ‘Okay, let’s go to football,'” he recalled.

“It’s crazy how you can relax as a kid.

“I remember dad brought a new Landcruiser and within 12 months had about 200,000,000 on it.”

“They sacrificed a lot for us. We would all say the same thing, everything we do now is just to inspire them and thank them for what they have done for us,” added Josh.

The Dunkley family – with the three athletic siblings reunited in Queensland.Source: Instagram

When Kyle moved to Brisbane for a chance in the VFL ranks, it was Josh’s big move north that garnered a lot of media attention.

Now Josh has revealed how difficult the decision was to leave the club where he won a Premier League in his debut season.

“It was probably one of the hardest times that night going to the best and fairest (with the Western Bulldogs) and I had already requested a trade with the Lions,” he explained.

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“To be crowned the Charles Sutton Medalist was obviously an honor, but at the same time it was very scary that the crowd and everyone there probably didn’t like me at the time.

“I felt like I gave my all to the football club and it was nice to know that well.”

Laughing at childhood dance classes together (“There were 10 people in the class and we’re the only guys,” Josh recalled), competitive games where Lara claims Kyle “cracks it,” and just life as kids of an AFL Footballers, it’s clear the trio formed a close bond.

They laughed as they recalled a moment on the soccer field between the brothers when Kyle scored a goal while Josh hit the target.

The Dunkley family – reunited with siblings Lara, Josh and Kyle in Queensland.Source: Instagram

“I still remember going back and I think the crowd booed me at the time. I remember going back like ‘gosh don’t miss this’. I looked up, you’re on the right track (to Josh) and I said, ‘Okay, let’s go,'” Kyle said.

“I kind of just saw him … started my routine and thought I’d actually gotten a little bit hooked on it.

“I was partying and Josh coming through, bang, knees in the quad.”

“I wanted to tap into you and say well done,” explains Josh.

“But you kneeled him down in the quad instead!” Lara laughed.

Lara says it was a “risk” to leave the Vixens and head to Queensland ahead of the 2020 season, but she has no regrets leaving the family without her brothers for those few seasons.

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“This was a big (call) away from family,” she said.

“At the end of the day I had to do what was best for netball to get on the court more and not sit on the bench.

“It was a risk coming up as a substitute for someone who had injured their knee.

“I just took it and gave it a red-hot pop.

“I’m so happy where I am.”

Watch Fox Sports Australia’s full documentary on The Dunkleys on Channel 505 Saturday night after the Thunderbirds-Swifts game and on Kayo!

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