Key messages

  • Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, with two in three Australians diagnosed by the age of 70. 
  • Shade used in combination with other sun protection measures provides the best protection from harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure when spending time outdoors.
  • Early detection means most skin cancers can be successfully treated.

Skin cancer prevention

Skin cancer is a significant health and economic burden in Victoria. Skin cancer is one of the most preventable forms of cancer yet remains highly prevalent, with two in three Australians diagnosed by the age of 70. 

The majority of skin cancers in Australia are caused by exposure to UV radiation in sunlight. Outdoor activity increases a person's risk of over-exposure to UV radiation. 

The provision of well-planned and designed shade as a sun protection measure can reduce overall exposure to UV radiation. Shade used in combination with other sun protection measures, including protective clothing, broad brimmed hats, sunglasses and SPF 30+ or higher sunscreen provide the best protection from harmful UV radiation exposure when spending time outdoors.

Shade Grants Program

The Victorian Government will continue its investment and deliver on the election commitment to provide $15.1 million of funding for shade grants and community education campaigns over 2019 - 2023. 

The Shade Grants Program (the Program) is administered by the Department of Health and Human Services.

The aim of the Program is to reduce Victorians' exposure to UV radiation by increasing shade in public places across the state and by promoting uptake of sun protective practices.

The Program is offered once a year, across two grant categories:

  • School Shade Grants Program 
  • Community Shade Grants Program.

Grants provide up to $25,000 for shade development in schools and $50,000 for community groups and can include up to $700 for sun protection items (excluding GST). Applicants may also request up to $700 for sun protection items only.

Funding under the Program is highly competitive with a total of 1,083 shade grants awarded in the first three rounds. In these rounds, one in four grant applications were successfully awarded a grant. Based on this, it is expected that more applications will be received than can be funded.

All information that is needed to award a grant is collected at the time of application. This will ensure that successful organisations receive their funding to commence shade projects as soon as possible.

Applications are now closed for Shade Grants Program Round 4 2019

The Department of Health and Human Services invited Victorian government schools and incorporated community groups to apply for a shade grant in August 2019.

Round 4 of the Shade Grants Program is now closed. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered for this Program.

As a reference, the Program guidelines for Round 4 are provided below. 

School Shade Grants Program – Round 4 2019 Program guidelines (word)

Community Shade Grants Program – Round 4 2019 Program guidelines (word)  

Upcoming rounds of the Shade Grants Program

The Shade Grants Program Round 5 will open in mid-2020.

The Department of Health and Human Services holds a notification register with details of schools and community organisations interested in future rounds of the Program.

If you wish to be notified when new funding rounds open, please add your details to the Shade Grants notification register.

Shade Grants notification register

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