Father Chris’ Youth off the Streets is on Share the Dignity’s nice list this Christmas.


On the 14th of December, the latest Dignity Vending Machine will be unveiled at the Koch Centre in Macquarie Fields, which is run by Father Chris Riley’s Youth Off the Streets.  The Centre was named to recognise the commitment of Libby and David Koch, whose support for Youth Off the Streets has helped disadvantaged young people turn their lives around.

The Koch Centre for Youth and Learning has been working with young people in Macquarie Fields since January 2011. It’s a safe place for young people to re-engage with the community, as well as assisting with education and employment.

They provide access to youth workers, information and referrals, support for transition to further education, training or employment, service learning projects, health and well-being programs, cultural and community programs, recreation facilities and activities & trainee youth worker programs.

Their programs are designed for young people aged between 12 and 24 but they also work with other members of the community when the need arises. Youth Off the Streets is one of the organisations Rochelle Courtenay identified early on as an ideal location for a Dignity Vending Machine, and Share the Dignity is incredibly grateful to have been able to achieve this.

The unveiling will take place at 2pm at the Koch Centre on the 14th of December.

The ‘Dignity Vending Machines’ hold 60 ‘Period Packs’ containing two pads and six tampons – enough to manage around one day of menstrual flow.  Packs will be dispensed through the touch of a button up to once every ten minutes. So far, the very first Dignity Vending Machine installed at McDonald’s in Bracken Ridge QLD in January 2017 has dispensed over 500 period packs.

Discreet placement of the vending machines is designed to help remove the stigma attached to asking for sanitary products due to being unable to afford them.

In other exciting news, Share the Dignity’s 2017 Christmas appeal ‘It’s in the Bag’, collecting handbags filled with useful items such as pads and tampons, personal hygiene products and everyday luxuries for homeless women and teenage girls at risk or women experiencing domestic violence was an overwhelming success.

This year over 10,000 bags were donated via drop points at Bunnings. These handbags were then collected by volunteers and redistributed to various charities who then supply them to women in need, providing them with a little dignity and comfort during the Christmas season.



For more information, interviews and images please contact:

Rochelle Courtenay, CEO

Share the Dignity

m: 0488132774

a:  PO Box 345 Sandgate Q4017



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Rochelle Courtenay

Early in 2015, an article by Mia Freedman published on Mamamia caught our attention.

We were shocked to learn that in Australia many homeless women and women in domestic violence shelters had to face unthinkable indignities during their monthly period.

For these vulnerable and at risk women, each month brought a shameful and traumatic experience, suffering indignities such as having to clean themselves in public toilets and use paper towels or newspaper to create makeshift sanitary pads.

Reading it from the comfort of our homes, with the knowledge that many Australian women couldn’t take hygiene for granted during menstruation, we knew we couldn’t allow it to continue.

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