Free period products extended to WA TAFE colleges

Students at all Western Australian TAFE colleges will soon have access to free period products, expanding on the State Government’s commitment to provide free period products in more than 220 public schools. The initiative will be rolled out this year at the five Western Australian TAFE colleges; North Metropolitan TAFESouth Metropolitan TAFECentral Regional TAFENorth Regional TAFE and South Regional TAFE.

While products were already available to students at some TAFE campuses, it will now be extended to include all campuses state-wide. Period products are a fundamental health necessity, but the cost and associated stigma means some students do not have access to these essential items. The 2021 Bloody Big Survey found 48 per cent of the 125,000 respondents had missed a class due to their period.

The State Government first announced the introduction of free products in August 2022. South Metropolitan TAFE lecturer Lizanne Dymond welcomed the plan and called on the Government to extend the initiative to TAFE students to support student engagement. With many of her students aged 15 to 19, Ms Dymond believes the provision of free period products will help support students to remain in training and reach their full potential. The products will be made available to students via dispensing machines, with a total cost expected to be $350,000 annually.

Two teenage young girls taking a selfie photograph.

“Nearly half the world’s population menstruate at some point in their lives, yet the topic of periods can still have such a stigma attached." says Training Minister Simone McGurk. "Period products are just as essential as toilet paper, so it makes sense that we are supplying them for free in our TAFEs as well as our public schools. By making pads and tampons more readily available for free in our TAFEs, we are removing a barrier to education and helping to support young women and girls in their learning. I thank Ms Dymond for highlighting the need to extend this initiative to students at Western Australia’s TAFE colleges and hope she is proud of her efforts.”

Read the full media statement here