15 March 2023

'Anyone got a tampon?' - Free menstrual products available to NSW school students

| Katrina Condie
Start the conversation
School girls

Students across NSW now have access to free menstrual hygiene products. Photo: NSW Department of Education.

New South Wales students have returned to school with access to free period products.

More than 4600 dispensers have been installed in public schools across the state to assist young women in overcoming barriers in accessing menstrual hygiene products.

Girls no longer have to ask friends or teachers if they forget their pads or tampons, and for those students whose families struggle to afford the products, it will put an end to makeshift solutions like using toilet paper, or missing school altogether.

Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell celebrated the rollout of the program for the start of the 2023 school year.

“Getting your period should not be a barrier to education,” she said.

“We have installed 4600 sanitary product dispensers in NSW schools to ensure students can participate in all aspects of school life.

READ ALSO Safety and security improvements planned as part of Moruya Airport upgrade

“I want our young women to feel comfortable in knowing they have access to free sanitary products when they need, in their school.

“Evidence shows that providing sanitary items has a very positive impact on educational engagement and attainment, so we know this program is going to make a huge difference for our students’ education.”

Girls will have access to free pads, tampons and in some schools, period underwear.

The NSW Liberal and Nationals Government is also supporting delivery of the Periods, Pain and Endometriosis Program (PPEP-Talk), developed by the Pelvic Pain Foundation of Australia (PPFA) and co-funded by the Australian Government.

The PPEP-Talk, an age-appropriate program to help students, parents and schools understand endometriosis and pelvic pain and early intervention strategies, will be delivered at select public schools in NSW.

“These PPEP-Talks will allow for both male and female students to be able to discuss women’s health in a respectful way that reduces the stigma that can come around women’s health,” Ms Mitchell said.

READ ALSO Pro fisherman says sharks are ‘cruising around our beaches like tadpoles’

Minister for Women Bronnie Taylor said the Liberal and Nationals Government had delivered what many young women had been calling for.

“This statewide rollout of period products, alongside the PPEP-Talk program, will ensure our young women have the support they need, with dignity and without barriers, as they continue their education journey,” Ms Taylor said.

“By openly discussing periods, endometriosis and reproductive health we are removing the taboo around women’s health issues.”

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Do you like to know what’s happening around your region? Every day the About Regional team packages up our most popular stories and sends them straight to your inbox for free. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.