Forest Lake State High Selected To Get Dignity Vending Machine

forest lake state high
Photo credit: Queensland Government

Forest Lake State High School has been selected as one of the first 62 schools in Queensland to receive a Dignity Vending Machine, which will provide students access to free sanitary products at school. 

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The State Government has invested $2.5 million for a three-year partnership with the Share the Dignity charity to provide 120 schools across Queensland with a Dignity Vending Machine (DVM).

In addition to free sanitary products, all Queensland schools will 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.

Education Minister Grace 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,” said Ms Grace.

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Share the Dignity is a women’s charity in Australia, that works to make a real difference in the lives of those experiencing homelessness, fleeing domestic violence, or doing it tough.

They distribute period products to women, girls, and anyone who menstruates who needs support. Through collection drives and campaigns, they get to collect hundreds of thousands of period products each year, which they also distribute directly to charities across Australia.

share the dignity
Photo credit: Share the Dignity/Facebook

So far, they have installed around 282 DVMS across Australia, providing free period packs containing two pads and six tampons, to those who need them most.

Ms Grace said they received so much interest from schools, with over 200 applying for the machine. However, the schools were selected based on identification of a suitable location in their school for the DVM, and their level of need to supply free sanitary products to students.

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

“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,” she said.

An additional 58 schools will be selected for the DVM on the second expressions of interest process in the second semester of 2022.