Students learning and playing outdoors at Riddells Creek Primary School are set to receive much- needed protection from harmful UV radiation thanks to the Andrews Labor Government.

Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas today announced Riddells Creek Primary School will receive $25,000 to construct permanent shade at the school.

This follows a passionate campaign by members of the school community to see upgrades to sun protection.

A further two Macedon Ranges schools, Kyneton Primary School and Elphinstone Primary School, received funding for sun protective items.

Around the state, 77 schools are sharing 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.

Quotes attributable to Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas

“Riddells Creek Primary students love spending time outdoors, which is why we’ve listened to the school community and taken 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 our youngest Victorians the protection they need to stay sun smart.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos

“Our grants programs 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.”

Quote attributable to Natasha McLean, Riddells Creek Primary School parent

“We’re so thrilled to receive this grant, it will mean out children can play and learn safely in the outdoors in hot weather.”