Have you ever wondered what it would be like to not have access to basic sanitary items during your period? Unfortunately for many women in Australia facing homelessness, this is an awful reality, and one that is often overlooked by the wider society.
In this episode, I sit down with Rochelle Courtenay, AKA ‘Pad Lady’, who is on a mission to give all Australian women dignity. Throughout our conversation, Rochelle shares what inspired the noble cause of providing homeless women with sanitary items. She talks about the force of the campaign she led to remove GST from all period products in Australia, and encourages us to use our own voices to make a positive change in our world.
Rochelle is the founder and managing director of Share the Dignity, a national charity founded in 2015 with the mission to ensure that everyone is afforded the dignity in life that so many of us take for granted. She has received numerous accolades for her work, including Finalist of Australian of the Year, Cosmopolitan Humanitarian of the Year and Pride of Australia. With her charity drive It’s In The Bag, Rochelle and her network of volunteers have now collected 4.4 million packets of period products for disadvantaged women.
We hear about Rochelle’s own childhood being plagued with domestic violence, and how this has given her the empathy and insight into the struggles of the women she aims to support. We discuss the importance of breaking down the stigma surrounding menstruation and creating a supportive environment for all women.
While Rochelle’s drive and ability to make a difference in women’s lives is awe-inspiring, she attributes the success of her efforts to the power of teamwork. This made itself especially clear when on 1 January 2019, with over 100,000 signatures on a federal petition led by Rochelle, the government removed GST from all period products in Australia.
Rochelle’s story is incredibly moving, and I know you’ll find her an inspiration as you endeavour to make your world a better place. So join me today and hear how you can take action, raise your voice and be a part of ending period poverty.
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