Six Gold Coast schools are among more than 100 across the state set to receive a “Dignity Vending Machine” thanks to a joint partnership between the Queensland Government and women’s charity Share the Dignity.
The vending machines will dispense free period packs to students on demand.
Education Minister Grace Grace says the scheme is important in breaking barriers and removing stigma.
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“Access to sanitary products and misplaced stigma around periods should never be barriers to learning,” Ms Grace said.
“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.”
The State Government’s partnership with Share the Dignity also means that all Queensland schools have access to the Period Talk education program, which is designed to educate students about menstruation.
Youth Affairs Minister and State Member of Gaven Meaghan Scanlon says the machines will make a huge difference to local students.
“Sanitary products aren’t a luxury – they’re a necessity. No student should have to go without access to sanitary products and put up with what is quite frankly a misplaced stigma,” Ms Scanlon said.
“This is about giving our young students autonomy over their body, equal access to safe, clean products and the ability to fully participate in their school experience without any barriers.”
Over 200 schools applied for the initiative, with 120 schools selected.
There will be another roll-out of Dignity Vending Machines later in the year for any applicants that missed out.
The first six Gold Coast schools to receive a machine are:
- Helensvale State High School
- Nerang State High School
- Ormeau Woods State High School
- Pacific Pines State High School
- Pimpama State Secondary College
- Southport State High School