Victorian state schools will have free pads and tampons in female, unisex and accessible bathrooms under a re-elected Labor government.

Health Minister Jill Hennessy said the program would be an Australian first from term three next year, reports 9 news.

“We want to break down the stigma of menstruation and ensure it does not impact on a student’s ability to be comfortable at school and ready to learn,” she said in a statement.

“This is about giving female students the dignity they deserve, and helping families with the cost of living along the way.”

The government says students who do not have access to sanitary products often cannot concentrate in class, may not feel comfortable doing physical activity, or may miss school altogether, creating unnecessary stress and potentially delaying changes of products, increasing the risk of toxic shock or cervical cancer.

“Labor believes that tampons and pads are as basic and necessary as toilet paper and soap,” the party said in a statement.

The Department of Education and Training will work with schools to determine the best method to dispense the items.

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  • That is great news, bring it on!


  • Such a great idea, with having 3 daughters my concern is they can be forgetful and may need something in a hurry.


  • This is great! Honestly a great idea.


  • That is a good idea. Should be done.


  • It would be good to have this across all of Australia.


  • I think this is a good idea periods can often start at any moment and if a young girl is not prepared she could have a lot of embarrassment. I think so long as students are properly educated they could be taught not to waste them.


  • My concern is how these will be dispatched. My 17 year old gave me a clear idea of what he thinks girls will do with them. The entire quota could be gone in one day. A better idea would be for the school nurse or first aid officer to have them available. They can then support young women and help them in many ways.


  • This could potentially be a great idea if there is no stealing or vandalism involved. Why will it not be implemented until third term of next year?


  • great, more :toys” for students to abuse and throw around, clog toilets etc.


  • When you put it like that it is as basic as other consumables like soap, toilet paper and hand towels. But I guess there could be problems with theft. I heard the Chinese had a very clever invention for dispensing toilet paper in an area where theft was a problem that involved biometrics: they wouldn’t let the same person keep on getting it!


  • There is another option that I would like to see considered for the girls to use especially those who are comfortable with inserting & of wearing tampons it’s the Lunette Menstrual Cup. It is not for everyone just as tampons aren’t for everyone, however they offer a lot of freedom to those who can use them.
    The Lunette Menstrual Cup is reusable, it is emptied & reinserted it doesn’t need washing or rinsing in between, depending on the cycle can last 8-10 hours before needing emptying, it is environmental friendly as it lasts at least 10 years if looked after, hence it is cost effective as well, it is made of medical grade silicon and there is no embarrassment to anyone as it is worn internally. It would be ideal though that toilets be fitted with spay to clean the toilet seat before use as this can also be used to clean the hands prior to leaving the cubical to wash at the basin after removal and reinsertion. Very private way of checking loss & emptying if required then reinserting without anyone being any the wiser . Worth considering


  • What a great idea. Yes it should be implemented.


  • Wonderful idea in theory but wondering what it would be like in practice. As I can see probably theft and vandalism etc. Some schools ban soap due to wastage and vandalism so can only think unfortunately this will not work. Also wondering how they will afford these products.


  • Fantastic! I hope this initiative won’t just be limited to Victoria.

    • Indeed! it should be rolled out throughout the country.


  • Hope the kids appreciate it and don’t steal them, not to use them, just to steal them. Hope there’s no vandalism either


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