Add Sun Protection to Your Outdoor Kit

Thursday 26th May
Session 3
2:25pm- 3:15pm
Room: TBA
Health & Wellbeing


Participation in outdoor physical activity increases exposure to the sun’s UV radiation and skin cancer risk. This presentation will outline current guidelines and actions to help you add sun safety to your outdoor physical activity kit.

The multiple benefits and positive impacts of active outdoor play, outdoor learning and outdoor education on children and adolescent development are well-documented. So is the type of outdoor environment that promotes optimal health and wellbeing, learning and activity.

Research has shown that green and shady environments not only stimulate more outdoor play, physical activity and allow more time outdoors, they also provide protection from infrared radiation (heat) and ultraviolet radiation (UV).

The sun’s UV differs from other carcinogens in that it presents a constant cancer risk to all Victorians when outdoors. It requires almost daily sun protection action at the individual level for at least eight months of the year in Victoria and is recommended for the entire year for those working outdoors.

UV exposure is linked to 95% of melanomas and 99% of non-melanoma skin cancers. Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. Childhood and adolescence are critical periods with UVR exposure during a person’s first 18 years of life the most critical for cancer-causing skin damage. Additionally, in Victoria, from 2015-2019, melanoma was the 5th most commonly diagnosed cancer among 15–24-year olds, accounting for nearly 8% of all newly diagnosed cancers in this age group.

However, skin cancer is one of the most preventable cancers. UV exposure can easily be reduced by adopting good sun protection policies and practices (clothing, sunscreen, hats, shade and sunglasses).

So as you enjoy the many benefits of being outdoors, how SunSmart is your program? How sun safe are your practices? How UV protective is your environment?

Refresh your SLIP, SLOP, SLAP knowledge and the difference between the sun’s heat and UV. Explore how to minimise UV risk and gain the best possible UV protection from each sun protection measure.

happy person in the Outdoors with tree and mountain landscape in the background

Justine Osbourne

Cancer Council Victoria

Justine Osborne has over 15 years’ health promotion experience at Cancer Council Victoria working across all aspects of the SunSmart program. Her background in education, health, foreign affairs and communication combined with her passion for sharing the SunSmart messages has seen her make a significant contribution to SunSmart’s mission.

Currently Chair of Cancer Council’s National SunSmart Schools and Early Childhood Working Group, Justine has seen continual growth in national schools and early childhood SunSmart memberships.

She has represented SunSmart at numerous International and National conferences in skin cancer prevention and is regularly active in parliamentary enquiries and federal advocacy work.

Justine has been instrumental in raising awareness of skin cancer prevention and early detection messages amongst the community and has seen the impact of this over time with a decline in melanoma rates in Victorians under 40 – the SunSmart Generation.