Melanoma Institute Australia’s (MIA) Co-Medical Directors and 2024 Australians of the Year, Professor Georgina Long AO and Professor Richard Scolyer AO, are urging Australians to join the national Melanoma March campaign to raise vital research funds and add their voices to calls to stop the glamourisation of tanning.
Professor Long and Professor Scolyer were awarded the nation’s most prestigious honour, 2024 Australians of the Year, for revolutionising melanoma treatment and their advocacy for sun-safe behaviour. During their emotional acceptance speech they called for urgent action to stop the glamourisation of tanning.
‘There is nothing healthy about a tan. Nothing. Our bronzed Aussie culture is actually killing us,’ Professor Long said.
‘So we call on advertisers, and social media influencers – stop glamourising tanning, or using it to sell or entertain. And our fellow Australians – when you see it, call it out, and demand change,’ she said.
‘Imagine the outcry if smoking was still glamourised like this,’ Professor Scolyer added. ‘We must elevate sun-safety to equal status as other life saving safety measures like seatbelts and helmets.’
Professors Long and Scolyer are asking fellow Aussies to amplify their calls for change by joining Melanoma Institute Australia’s national Melanoma March campaign. Family-friendly events will be held across the country during the month of March, with registrations now open.
Professors Long and Scolyer will both be attending the flagship Sydney event, being held this year at the picturesque Bay Run in the Inner West on Sunday 10th March. Participants will be able to join the 2024 Australians of the Year on a 7km run or 4km walk.
Organised by volunteer committees impacted by melanoma, the Melanoma March events raise vital funds for melanoma research, which will also impact other cancers, and provide an opportunity for patients and families to come together to support each other and remember those lost to the disease.
This year’s campaign also aims to shine a spotlight on the dangers of tanning and the need for greater investment in national prevention strategies.
Australia has the highest melanoma rates in the world. One person is diagnosed with melanoma every 30 minutes and one person dies from the disease every 6 hours. It is the most common cancer affecting 20–39-year-old Australians.
‘Changing attitudes towards tanning and improving the community’s understanding about prevention, early detection, and year-round sun safety is crucial to stopping more lives being cut short by melanoma,’ said MIA CEO Matthew Browne.
Those who can’t attend an event can still support the campaign by getting active and hosting a March Your Way activity with friends or individually.
Cost to Register:
Costs to attend a physical event are:
- Adults (over 18 years) $40
- Child (5-17 years) $20
- Child (under 5) Free
- Family deal: Register 2 x Adults and up to 5 Children (5-17 yrs) for $80. Additional adults will be charged the full rate.
Registrations to March Your Way are free!
Are you interested in volunteering at your local Melanoma March event?
If you are interested in hosting a Melanoma March event, or volunteering at your local event, please contact Annabel via email on firstname.lastname@example.org.