In an Australian first, Victoria will provide free tampons and pads in schools

A few months ago, Jacinda Ardern was celebrated around the world when she ended period poverty in NZ schools, providing free sanitary products to all school girls

Now, Victorian schools are the first in Australia to offer free pads and tampons to students, thanks to the Andrews Labor government.

Victorian schools free pads and tampons

Victoria is aiming to boost inclusivity and break down “the stigma of periods” with a new initiative, providing free sanitary products to girls in over 1,500 government schools. 

The new initiative is designed to reduce “discomfort and embarrassment around periods for girls” at school, with the scheme costing the state $20.7m over four years. This will also feature a health information campaign about menstruation in addition to the sanitary products. A government spokesperson said: 

“Schools will play an important role in promoting a positive culture around menstrual health and build a supportive environment among the school community. Lack of easy access to pads and tampons can negatively impact on students’ participation in sport and everyday school activities. Students may not be able to concentrate in class, feel comfortable or feel confident doing physical activity, or they may miss school altogether.” 

“There’s many girls and young women who can’t access the sort of pads and tampons, sanitary products, easily,” Premier Daniel Andrews described last week. “This is about dignity, it’s about inclusivity.” 

The initiative follows the federal government and states decision to remove GST on sanitary items from the beginning of last year.

Victoria’s program is expected to deliver more than 27 million free pads and tampons every year. Here’s hoping the rest of the nation follows suit. 

Onya, Dan Andrews.