Victoria really is the most progressive state in Australia. I thought about this when they became the first state to ban phones in high schools. The Guardian’s Gay Alcorn said last year, “Victoria has been the most progressive and active state government in a generation, taking political risks and investing significant funds.”
Today, they’ve set another unprecedented milestone. As part of a $20.7 million government program, Premier Daniel Andrews’ has fulfilled his election promise, announcing today that free pads and tampons will be available on campus in state schools from 2020.
The scheme is being rolled out this week, with the aim of sanitary products to be made available by the middle of next year.
Pads and tampons are just as essential as toilet paper and soap.
So from this week, we'll start supplying them in our public schools – free of charge.
It's an Australian first. And it's the right thing to do. pic.twitter.com/ps4KHnB38c
— Dan Andrews (@DanielAndrewsMP) September 11, 2019
Premier Andrews announced the program during their state election campaign last year, and is proposed to spread over four years.
“There are many girls and young women who cannot access the sort of pads and tampons, sanitary products easily,” Premier Andrews said today. “This is about dignity, it’s about inclusivity.”
In March, the UK announced a similar measure, while earlier in the year, Scotland expanded its scheme to provide free sanitary items in libraries and leisure centres, on top of schools and universities.
Let’s hope this sets the bench for other states to follow.