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 initiative, students in 120 Queensland state and non-state schools will have access to free period products through the installation of Dignity Vending Machines. All Queensland state and non-state schools also have free access to the Period Talk education program to build students' understanding of menstruation and the impact of periods.
Following the initial success of the Share the Dignity in Queensland Schools initiative, the Queensland Government committed to expanding the initiative to provide all Queensland state schools, outdoor and environmental education centres, and student residential facilities with the opportunity to provide free period products to students at their school. Information about how schools can register to have a period product vending machine installed in their school will be provided to schools in Term 1, 2023.
Providing students with access to free period products and period education contributes to students' wellbeing, their readiness to engage positively at school and reduces the shame and stigma associated with menstruation.
Dignity Vending Machines
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 62 schools (including 53 state schools and 9 non-state schools) selected to receive a DVM through an initial expression of interest process are listed below. 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. DVMs were installed in all 62 schools in 2022.
Schools selected for a Dignity Vending Machine
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.