The term 'tuck shop' is not used Australia-wide. Attending primary school in Orange, New South Wales in the early 1980s, the place where one purchased one's lunch at school was the 'canteen', and the attendant mother was referred to as the 'canteen lady'.

It was only upon moving to Townsville, Queensland in 1985 that I encountered the word 'tuck shop', although it was a single word - 'tuckshop'. Indeed, the staff of mothers were referred to as 'tuckshop ladies'.

In my limited experience, high school tuckshops in north Queensland offer a completely different menu to that offered by primary schools. Gone were the 'healthy' options - carrot sticks, moon craters, frozen orange wedges. Instead, one could buy (gasp) Coca Cola and a hot dog for lunch, to be followed by a packet of Samboy salt and vinegar chips and a Funny Face.