SunSmart Shade Creation keeps Queensland kids sun safe

SunSmart grant

Queensland not-for-profit organisations and schools can apply to keep kids sun safe, with applications for the 2017 SunSmart Shade Creation Initiative now open.

The initiative, led by Queensland Government and Cancer Council Queensland, enables not-for-profit organisations catering for children 0-18 years to apply for up to 50 per cent matched funding to purchase a portable or permanent shade structure.

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Cameron Dick said the initiative would benefit organisations and schools across the state.

“The Queensland 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” Mr Dick said.

“Exposure to ultraviolet radiation in childhood increases the risk of skin cancer later in life, so it’s vital that young Queenslanders are taught SunSmart habits from a young age.”

Queensland has the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, with almost half of all childhood melanoma cases in Australia diagnosed in Queensland over the past decade.

More than 3600 Queenslanders are diagnosed with melanoma each year and an estimated 350,000 non-melanoma skin cancers are treated annually.

Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift urged eligible schools, sporting clubs, childcare centres and community groups in Queensland to apply.

“We’re proud to partner with Queensland Government to help provide shade and improve the sun safety of Queensland kids,” Ms Clift said.

“It’s vital that we do what we can to protect our younger generation from the damaging effects of too much sun to help prevent them from developing health issues in the future, and this funding will go some way towards that cause.”

Ms Clift said research showed more than half a million children are sunburnt in Queensland every year and only about 1 in 20 protect themselves in all five SunSmart ways in summer.

“We recommend Queenslanders abide by all five sun protective recommendations – 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 sunnies,” Ms Clift said.

“Sun exposure in childhood increases the risk of skin cancer later in life, so it’s important that children are taught sun safe habits.”

In 2016, 109 Queensland schools, sporting and community clubs and childcare centres benefited from new shade structures as part of this initiative.

Applications for the 2017 SunSmart Shade Creation Initiative close at 5pm on March 31. To apply, complete the online application form on the Cancer Council Queensland website.

More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available at or via Cancer Council’s 13 11 20.

For more information or interviews, please contact:
Laura McKoy,
Media Manager,
Cancer Council Queensland
Phone: (07) 3634 5345
Mobile: 0428 580 363