Cancer Council Queensland and the Queensland Government are helping turn the Sunshine State into the SunSmart State by protecting younger generations from the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation.
Queensland not-for-profit organisations catering for children and young people aged 0-18 years are now able to apply for much-needed shade through the 2018 SunSmart Shade Creation Initiative.
The joint initiative provides up to 50 per cent matched funding to purchase a portable or permanent shade structure for successful applicants.
Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Steven Miles said the SunSmart Shade Creation Initiative would benefit organisations and schools across the state.
“The Palaszczuk Government has provided $870,000 of funding over three years to support schools, junior sporting and community clubs, and childcare centres, to adopt sun safe policies and practices,” Minister Miles said.
“Skin damage can occur in as little as 10 minutes if you’re outdoors without protection and exposure to ultraviolet radiation in childhood leads to an increased risk of skin cancer later in life.
“With Queensland having the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, its vital young Queenslanders are taught SunSmart habits from a young age.”
More than 3600 Queenslanders are diagnosed with melanoma each year, with almost half of all childhood melanoma cases in Australia diagnosed in Queensland over the past decade.*
It’s also estimated that over 343,000 non-melanoma skin cancers are treated annually.
Cancer Council Queensland CEO Ms McMillan urged eligible schools, sporting clubs, childcare centres and community groups across the state to apply.
“Adequate sun protection is critical from an early age, so we are proud to partner with the Queensland Government to help provide shade and protect Queensland kids from the sun,” Ms McMillan said.
“Sun protection remains the best defense against skin cancer and is required when the UV Index is three and above, which is all year round in Queensland.
“Shade is a practical, user-friendly form of sun protection and research shows that if shade is available, people will use it.”
Cancer Council Queensland recommends Queenslanders follow all five sun-protective behaviours to protect their skin when outdoors – Slip on protective clothing, Slop on minimum SPF30 broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen, Slap on a broad-brimmed hat, Seek shade and Slide on wrap-around sunglasses.
“As guardians of our next generation we need to work hard to instil SunSmart behaviours in Queensland children to help shape their habits and reduce their long-term risk of skin cancer,” Ms McMillan said.
In 2017, 88 Queensland schools, sporting and community clubs and childcare centres benefited from new shade structures as part of this initiative.
Applications for the 2018 SunSmart Shade Creation Initiative close at 5pm on March 9. To apply, complete the online application form on the Cancer Council Queensland website.
More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available at cancerqld.org.au or via Cancer Council’s 13 11 20.