Every year 8000 Australians are diagnosed with melanoma and more than 1000 will die from the disease. Sadly, with one of the highest incidence of melanoma in Australia, too many people from the Hunter Region are dying from this mostly preventable disease. Their ages may surprise you, Scott 28, Matt 30, Paul 56, Margo 45… not, as many incorrectly assume, elderly people. No matter what age – each one of these deaths could have been prevented if we knew then (1940’s – 80’s) what we know now.

That’s why the HMF makes it a priority to reinforce the sunsafe message to children. Though they are usually aware of the “no hat no play” playground rule, most don’t really understand why.

The Foundation’s small enthusiastic team of volunteers provide educational school visits on request. A role play (featuring a sun dried apple) delivers the message of how the sun effects skin and how to prevent all kinds of skin cancers. This is followed by questions from the kids and an education kit is provided for every child (thanks to the generous support of the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation). The kit, comprises a practical reusable HMF pink carry bag (perfect for library bags!), work sheets (relative to each primary and infants age group) wrist band, sticker, tattoo, fridge magnet as well as brochures and newsletters to take home for the whole family to refer to.

This is a fun and informative way to reinforce the sun safety message and remind children why it is so important to “slip slop slap”. Hopefully by educating kids as young as 5 we can reduce the number of melanomas and skin cancers in general in tomorrow’s adults.

If you would like to download the Primary or Infants Sunsafety Worksheets go to About the Foundation and Resources to download a pdf to print.

Other educational activities undertaken by the HMF include funding for the Newcastle Melanoma Units GP Seminars - providing updated information to GPs about detection and treatment.

Adults too can gain much knowledge from our guest speakers. We’ll visit your group and provide an informative presentation suitable for any age group.

Education and awareness about melanoma is vital to our ultimate goal – to defeat melanoma. If knowledge is power – the HMF is doing its best to empower all sectors of the community in the battle against melanoma. This has now become one of the core functions of the HMF.