October 28, 2014
Students at Waroona District High School have become the first in Australia to benefit from a new shade funding program.
A new permanent shade structure covering a spectator seating area on the sporting ground was officially unveiled at a ceremony last week.
In 2013, for the first time, Cancer Council gave Australian high schools the opportunity to apply for a shade grant worth up to $25,000.
The response was overwhelming with one in eight secondary schools across Australia applying for the unique grant, which was funded by a $1million donation from eftpos, as part of their Giveback program.
Waroona District High School is one of the 45 high schools nationally to receive the funding but the first to have their structure installed.
Carl Carulli, from the Waroona District High School said winning this eftpos Cancer Council Shade for Secondary Schools Grant had been a real bonus for his school.
“It’s enabled us to fast-track a plan to install more shade. What we’d aimed to achieve in four years has been realised in its first year, which is a terrific bonus for the health and safety of our students!” Mr Carulli said.
Mark Strickland, SunSmart Manager Cancer Council Western Australia congratulated staff at the school for their initiative and drive in completing the project so quickly.
“The fact students at Waroona High will be protected from the sun this summer is welcome news to us,” he said.
Mr Strickland said the new shade structure would help fill a gap when it comes to adolescents and sun protection.
“Unfortunately we know much of the good work done in primary schools regarding sun protection is undone in high schools despite the fact that melanoma is the most common cancer in young Australians aged 15 - 29 years and accounts for more than one-quarter of all cancers in this age group.
“Without access to proper shade at lunch time, when UV levels often peak, our teenagers are put at increased risk of developing skin cancer in the future. However, we know that if the shade is there, they will use it,” said Mr Strickland.
To find out more about opportunities for school shade funding visit http://www.generationsunsmart.com.au/category/news/