The aims of the SunSmart program are to minimise the human cost of skin cancer in Canberra. Cancer Council has also taken a leadership role promoting a healthy balance between the benefits and harms of UV (ultraviolet radiation) exposure and the links with vitamin D.
SunSmart program objectives include
- build the capacity of priority organisations and settings to play a role in managing the effects of UV exposure on health
- advocate for supportive environments and infrastructure to ensure a balanced approach to UV exposure
- improve the awareness and knowledge amongst priority population groups of UV through the communication and active dissemination of key messages information and resources
- identify, establish and maintain strategic partnerships to work towards common goals
- demonstrate leadership and good practice in UV protection evaluation and research to guide the SunSmart program, and
- ensure systems are in place to operate as an effective and efficient program.
SunSmart implements a combination of interventions to affect individual sun protective behaviours balanced with advocacy for broader environmental and legislative change. The vast majority of ACT early childhood services and primary schools are members of the SunSmart Program.
SunSmart also works with secondary schools, workplaces, health professionals, local government and sporting clubs to promote a healthy UV exposure. This intensive multi faceted community-level work is underpinned by population-wide media campaigns that communicate key messages and reinforce positive social norms around tanning and sun protection.