Lack of access to period products can lead to young people missing school in order to manage their period. Further, many young people do not have a good understanding of their periods and how they affect their bodies, which can contribute to shame and embarrassment.
To support Queensland school students to access period products and improve their understanding of menstruation, in 2021, the Queensland Government partnered with
Share the Dignity.
Through the Share the Dignity in Queensland schools initiative, students in 154 Queensland state and non-state schools have access to free period products through the installation of Dignity Vending Machines (DVMs).
Following the initial success of the initiative, the Queensland Government committed to expanding the initiative to provide all Queensland state schools, outdoor and environmental education centres, and student residential facilities the opportunity to provide free period products to students at their school.
Over 380 additional DVMs were requested through a recent registration process, with installation of these DVMs in schools already commenced. Schools that are yet to register for a DVM through the expanded initiative will have another opportunity in 2023–24.
In addition to providing access to free period products, the initiative continues to provide all Queensland state and non-state schools with free access to the Period Talk education program to build students' understanding of menstruation and the impact of periods.
Providing students with access to free period products and period education contributes to students' wellbeing and their readiness to engage positively at school, and reduces shame and stigma associated with menstruation.
Dignity Vending Machines
DVMs installed in schools dispense free period packs (6 tampons and 2 pads) to students on demand. Share the Dignity provide the free period packs for schools to re-stock DVMs as required.
The 154 schools (138 state and 16 non-state) that have a DVM installed through the original Share the Dignity in Queensland schools initiative are listed below. These schools were selected based on identification of a suitable location in their school for the DVM, and their level of need to supply free period products to students.
Schools with a Dignity Vending Machine
Alexandra Hills State High School
Bremer State High School
Brisbane State High School
Bundamba State Secondary College
Calamvale Community College
Capalaba State College
Cavendish Road State High School
Centenary State High School
Coorparoo Secondary College
Corinda State High School
Forest Lake State High School
Mansfield State High School
Redbank Plains State High School
Ripley Valley State Secondary College
Rosewood State High School
Runcorn State High School
Stretton State College
Sunnybank State High School
Victoria Point State High School
Wellington Point State High School
Whites Hill State College
Woodcrest State College
Yeronga State High School
All Queensland schools have free access to the Period Talk education program. Developed by Talk Revolution, the program is designed to educate students in Years 5–8 about menstruation and the impact of periods. Topics include menstrual cycles, types of period products, managing periods, nutrition, period pain and when to seek help from the doctor, cultural factors and the impact of periods from a human rights and environmental perspective.
Information about how schools can request free access to Period Talk is available on the
Share the Dignity website. Queensland state schools can search for 'Share the Dignity' on OnePortal for more information.