More Victorian students learning and playing outdoors are set to receive much-needed protection from harmful UV radiation thanks to new shade around their schools and sun protective items.
Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos today announced the 77 schools which will share in almost $1 million from the latest round of the Andrews Labor Government’s School Shade Grants program.
The program provides grants for shade development, including building new shade, repairing existing shade or creating natural shade by planting trees.
In addition, some small grants have been funded to provide sun protective items like hats and sunscreen for students. Shade used in combination with other sun protection measures provide the best protection from harmful UV radiation exposure when spending time outdoors.
Childhood and adolescence are critical periods during which exposure to UV radiation is more likely to contribute to skin cancer later in life.
In 2017, melanoma was the fourth-most common cancer in Victoria, with 2,993 invasive melanomas diagnosed, and tragically, 270 deaths.
Proper shade can reduce overall exposure to UV radiation by up to 75 per cent when in conjunction with other sun protection measures such as sunscreen, hats, sunglasses and protective clothing.
The Labor Government has provided a big $10 million boost for the program, paving the way for more schools and community groups to install shade over the next four years.
The Government also funds the Community Shade Grants program, which provides shade for community organisations.
These programs have already awarded 1,161 grants, totalling $11.8 million.
As noted by Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos
“We know students love spending time outdoors, particularly as the weather starts to warm up. That’s why we’re taking action so that kids can benefit from more shade and protection from the sun.”
“Skin cancer is one of the most preventable forms of cancer in Australia. It’s important we give Victorians the protection they need to stay sun smart.”
“Our grants program have helped hundreds of schools and community groups provide the protection Victorians need to prevent cancer. Now, even more children will be shielded from the sun’s harmful rays.”