‘Shady’ Councils recognised

In this year’s Victorian SunSmart Shade Awards, four Victorian Councils have been recognised for ‘shady’ initiatives, which are protecting their residents from skin cancer. The awards recognise the important work that Victorian Councils are doing and encourage other Councils to plan for shade. Announced in April, this year’s winning Councils impressed an independent judging panel, which included a representative from the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV), as well as two architects with an interest in shade design.

Frankston City Council took out the Metropolitan Shade Award for its Waterfront Regional Playground. This facility offers a range of shaded play areas at different times of the day. It has become a very popular place for families to play and relax.

The City of Boroondara was Highly Commended in this category for Hays Paddock. Judges described the increased shade in this playground as a striking and imaginative project that incorporates shade elements with objects of fun.

The SunSmart Rural Shade Award went to Swan Hill Rural City Council for Riverside Park. The judging panel said the shade sails at Riverside Park and Robinvale Playgrounds had a good design process and were attractive to look at. The sails are also effective in protecting the community from UV radiation and have received a great response from the Swan Hill community.

The City of Greater Geelong was Highly Commended in the rural category for its shade structures at the Lara Swimming Pool.

The new shade structures have an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) of at least 97 per cent. In addition, shade projections were used in the planning and design of the shade structures, maximising the shade provided.

Recent figures from the Cancer Council Victoria show more than 1,900 Victorians were diagnosed with melanoma in 2004, and 325 Victorians died from melanoma and other skin cancers.

SunSmart Manager, Kylie Strong, said shade is very important in reducing skin cancer rates.

“Shade is just as important in protecting against skin cancer as sunscreen, hats, clothing and sunglasses,” she said. “It is an important component of a Council’s responsibility to provide a safe, healthy environment for its community members.”

For further information on SunSmart and its initiatives visit www.sunsmart.com.au