More students in the Keysborough electorate will be protected from the sun’s harmful UV rays, thanks to the Victorian Government installing more sunshades in school playgrounds and outdoor areas.

Member for Keysborough, the Hon. Martin Pakula MP, announced today that two schools in the Keysborough electorate will share in over $1.3 million of funding from the latest round of the School Shade Grants Program.

The grants are available to schools to build new shade structures, repair existing structures, or create natural shade by planting trees and purchase sun protective items including hats and sunscreen.

The children, teachers and families at Chandler Park Primary will get $24,996 for permanent shade structures and sun protective items and the children, teachers and families at Athol Road Primary will get $17,500 for the repair and replacement of existing permanent shade structures.

When used alongside other sun protection measures such as sunscreen and clothing, shade structures are the best defense and can reduce overall exposure to UV radiation by up to 75 per cent.

In 2018, melanoma was the fifth most common cancer in Victoria with 3,096 new cases diagnosed and sadly 291 deaths.

Through this program, the Government is helping children to be sun smart and prevent skin cancer, while still embracing the outdoors and keeping fit, active and healthy.

It is important children and teenagers stay protected from the sun as these are critical periods when exposure to UV radiation is more likely to contribute to skin cancer later in life. Schools play an important role teaching effective SunSmart behaviours from an early age.

The School Shade Grants Program is complemented by the Community Shade Grants Program, which provides shade for community organisations. Together, these programs have awarded 1,429 grants across Victoria, totalling almost $13.5 million.

It forms part of the Government’s ambitious Victorian Cancer Plan 2020-24 which sets out a target to halve the proportion of Victorians diagnosed with preventable cancers by 2040.

Quote attributable to Member for Keysborough, the Hon. Martin Pakula M

“It’s great for kids to spend time playing outdoors and keeping active. These grants mean that Chandler Park Primary and Athol Road Primary  school children can still enjoy the outdoors while having the necessary shade to be protected 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 SunSmart.”

“Our grants programs have helped hundreds of schools and community groups provide the protection Victorians need to prevent cancer. Now even more children in the Keysborough electorate will be shielded from the sun’s harmful UV rays.”