Queensland schools receive Dignity Vending Machine's

Pads and Tampon Vending Machine
Pads and Tampon Vending Machine
Photo Queensland Government

Education Minister Grace Grace today announced Queensland schools receive a Dignity Vending Machine to provide students access to free sanitary products at school, delivering on another Palaszczuk Government election commitment. 

Minister Grace said the Palaszczuk Government was investing up to $2.5 million in a partnership with the Share the Dignity charity to provide 120 state and non-state schools across Queensland with a Dignity Vending Machine.

“It’s great to be able to share this news with schools during Queensland Women’s Week,” Ms Grace said. 

“Access to sanitary products and misplaced stigma around periods should never be barriers to learning.

“We want all students to be confident to attend school every day. Giving students access to free sanitary products can make a real difference, especially for students whose families are doing it tough, have unstable accommodation or are fleeing domestic and family violence.

“This initiative supports Share the Dignity’s aim to distribute period products to women, girls, and anyone who menstruates who needs support.

“I am delighted we had so much interest from schools, with over 200 applying.

“From that we have selected 62: 53 state, 5 Catholic, and 4 Independent schools.

“For those schools that missed out this time around, or didn’t get an EOI in, there will be another opportunity to apply for the remaining machines later this year.”

Minister Grace said the partnership with Share the Dignity wasn’t just about access to free sanitary products.

“The partnership also means that all Queensland schools have access to the Period Talk education program, which is designed to educate students in Year 5 to Year 8 about menstruation and the impact of periods,” Ms Grace said.

Harristown State High School in Toowoomba will be one of the schools participating in the program.

Principal Ken Green said he believed students would be very appreciative that Harristown SHS was among the selected schools.

"Our school is pleased to be part of this initiative which will support our students, particularly those who may be vulnerable or experiencing hardship,” Mr Green said.

Acting Deputy Principal Ms Sall’ee Ryman welcomed the announcement.

“The initiative ensures all young women are guaranteed dignity and goes a long way to removing one of the barriers in accessing education that they experience,” Ms Ryman said.

“It is also a positive step in addressing the social taboos around women’s reproductive health we have long experienced.”

Founder of Share the Dignity, Rochelle Courtenay, welcomed the announcement of the successful schools.

“Imagine a world where menstruation is not a barrier to education. I am so proud to see the installation of Dignity Vending Machines in Queensland schools to ensure students can easily access period products when they need them.

“I am also excited to be able to educate boys and girls on menstruation with Period Talk, our menstruation education program, which will help us create long term change and guide us towards a future where period is not a taboo word.”

The first eight Darling Downs/South West Queensland school to receive a machine are: 

  • Dalby State High School
  • Faith Lutheran College Plainland
  • Harristown State High School
  • Kingaroy State High School
  • Lockyer District State High School
  • Murgon State High School
  • St George State High School
  • Wilsonton State High School

Successful schools are now being contacted by the Department of Education and Share the Dignity. More information is available here.

Source: Minister for Education, Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Racing
The Honourable Grace Grace Queensland Government

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