Protecting More Victorians From UV Rays

12 October 2022

More Victorians will be protected from the sun’s harmful UV rays, with hundreds of extra sunshades to be installed in public areas, sports clubs, school playgrounds and outdoor areas thanks to the Andrews Labor Government.

Minister for Health Mary-Anne Thomas today announced that 247 community organisations and 66 schools across Victoria will be able to acesss the the latest round of the $2.5 million Shade Grants Program.

The grants will help schools and community groups build new shade structures, purchase portable shade, create natural shade by planting trees or repair their existing shade structures. Funding is also provided to purchase items to protect us from the sun, including hats and sunscreen.

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

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

In 2020, melanoma was the fifth-most-common cancer in Victoria, with 2,582 new cases and 271 deaths.

Through this program, the Labor Government is helping more Victorians to keep active, enjoy the outdoors, help them to be sun-smart and prevent skin cancer.

The program is offered once a year, across two grant categories: School Shade Grants and Community Shade Grants.

Since 2015, the program has provided more than $20 million in funding for 2,301 grants for community groups and Victorian government schools across the state.

The program forms part of the Labor Government’s bold Victorian Cancer Plan 2020-24, which sets a target to halve the proportion of Victorians diagnosed with preventable cancers by 2040.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Mary-Anne Thomas

“These grants will help Victorians, especially school students, to enjoy a healthy outdoor lifestyle while having the necessary shade to protect them from the sun.”

“Skin cancer is one of the most prevalent forms of cancer in Australia – that’s why this program is so important, to ensure Victorians are protected from the harmful UV rays that could contribute to skin cancer later in life.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Education Natalie Hutchins

“We have helped hundreds of schools and community groups provide the protection Victorians need to prevent cancer and stay sun-smart and we’ll continue to do so into the future.”

Media contact: Alex Sheehy 0420 314 221 |

Reviewed 13 October 2022

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