Schools keen to play a stronger role in skin cancer prevention

Queensland schools would provide more shade for children if funding was not a concern, Cancer Council research shows.

Data from the Cancer Council’s National Sun Protection Survey shows funding concerns are the second most common reason schools don’t plan to increase shade structures, potentially putting young Queenslanders at risk of skin cancer.

Cancer Council Queensland and the Department of Health are calling on not-for-profit organisations to take action by applying for the 2014 SunSmart Grants Scheme.

The SunSmart Grants Scheme, launched in November, offers funds for portable and permanent shade items for not-for-profit organisations and schools that cater for children up to age 17.

Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said without access to proper shade during school hours, kids are at risk of developing skin cancer.

“It’s so important for all Queensland organisations caring for children to have access to items that assist SunSmart behaviour and reduce skin cancer risk,” Ms Clift said.

“These grants will be a big boost to eligible organisations who have limited funds for sun safety.

“Queensland has the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, and we know increased sun exposure in childhood contributes significantly to the risk of developing cancer later in life.”

In Queensland, around 136,000 new skin cancer cases are diagnosed each year (3000 melanoma and 133,000 non-melanoma skin cancers).

“We’re dedicated to instilling SunSmart behaviours in Queensland children and offering SunSmart grants that address funding gaps is one way we are able to do this,” Ms Clift said.

Early childhood centres, outside school hours care, youth community groups (eg. scouts, girl guides) and primary and secondary schools across Queensland are encouraged to apply.

Applications close at 5pm on February 28, 2014. Funded projects must be finalised by June 30, 2014.

To apply for a grant, please complete the online application form at
Cancer Council Queensland recommends Queenslanders adopt all five recommended SunSmart behaviours to reduce the risk of skin cancer.
Slip on sun protective clothing, Slop on SPF30 or above broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen, Slap on a broad-brimmed hat, Seek shade and Slide on wrap-around sunglasses as best protection against skin cancer.
Remember – one form of sun protection is never enough!
Cancer Council Queensland is an independent, community-based charity. The achievements of Cancer Council Queensland are made possible by the generosity of Queenslanders. 

More information about Cancer Council Queensland and being Sun Smart is available at or by calling the Cancer Council Helpline 13 11 20.


For more information, please contact:
Kim Ryan, Senior Media Advisor, Cancer Council Queensland P. (07) 3634 5239

For interview opportunities, please contact:
Katie Clift, Executive Manager, Media and Spokesperson, Cancer Council Queensland P. (07) 3634 5372 or 0409 001 171