Helping Victorians To Stay Safe In The Sun

Students and other Victorians will be better protected from the sun’s damaging rays thanks to new grants being made available by the Andrews Labor Government.

Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos visited White Hills Primary School today to launch the latest round of the School Shade Grants Program – and encourage Victorian schools to apply. The Community Shade Grants Program is also returning, for community groups such as sports clubs.

The programs make sure that more Victorians than ever can access much-needed shade when the hot sun hits hard thanks to new shade sails or newly-planted trees.

The Labor Government is giving a big $10 million boost to the programs, paving the way for about 1,000 schools and community groups to install shade over the next four years. As part of the boost, schools and community groups will be able to share in $2 million for other protective measures such as hats and sunscreen.

Schools may apply for one grant of up to $25,000 and community organisations may apply for one grant up to $50,000. The Program provides funding for new permanent shade, natural shade and portable shade; and sun protection items to the value of $700.

Shade structures are the best defence from dangerous UV rays, but should always be used alongside other sun protection measures such as sunscreen and protective clothing.

Australia has the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, with two in three people diagnosed by the age of 70.

In 2017, melanoma was the fourth most common cancer in Victoria, with 2,993 invasive melanomas diagnosed and 270 deaths. The five-year survival rate for Victorians diagnosed with invasive melanoma was at 90 per cent in 2013-16.

The Labor Government’s Victorian Cancer Plan 2016-20 sets out an ambitious target of saving 10,000 lives from cancer over a decade.

To apply for a grant visit www2.health.vic.gov.au

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos

“We all love spending time outdoors on nice sunny days, but the sun’s UV can be dangerous and deadly if we don’t protect ourselves.”

“Our grants programs have helped hundreds of schools and community groups provide the protection Victorians need to prevent cancer.”