Schools announced to share the dignity in Queensland

Queensland Government media release

Education Minister Grace Grace today announced the first 62 schools selected to receive a Dignity Vending Machine, which provides students access to free sanitary products at school.

Minister Grace said the Queensland Government was investing up to $2.5 million in a partnership with the Share the Dignity charity to provide 120 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 a further 58 machines later this year.

“School communities across the state have shown their support for students and families with this initiative, and the Queensland Government is delighted to be rolling out this great program.”

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.

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,” Ms Courtenay said.

“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.”

Sunnybank State High School Principal Leah Fountaine, one of the successful schools, said their school community welcomed the opportunity to join the Share the Dignity program.

“Our goal here at Sunnybank SHS is to empower our students and remove barriers to education,” Ms Fountaine said.

“With the support of Share the Dignity, our students will now have the confidence that they deserve to access period products privately, regardless of their circumstances.

“We are incredibly grateful for this opportunity, and we look forward to a positive partnership with Share the Dignity.”

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