The aim of the Shade Grants Program is to reduce Victorians' exposure to UV radiation by increasing shade in public places across the state and by promoting the uptake of sun protective practices. Victorian government schools and eligible community groups are being invited to apply.
The grants provide funding to ensure more Victorians can access the shade they need to stay safe when enjoying the outdoors by enabling Victorian government schools or eligible community organisations to build new shade structures, purchase portable shade structures, repair existing structures or plant trees. Small grants are also available to purchase sun protective items including hats and sunscreen. (Schools should note that the Shade Grant Program is different to the School Shade Sails Fund but they can apply for both).
When used alongside other sun protection measures like sunscreen and protective clothing, shade structures are the best defence against dangerous ultraviolet (UV) rays.
Increasing access to shade in public places through the Shade Grants Program is identified as a key activity in the Victorian cancer plan 2020–2024 under the priority, ‘Reduce the risk of developing skin cancer by increasing awareness and promoting sun protective behaviours’. The Victorian cancer plan 2020-2024 provides a way forward in achieving the long-term vision of improving cancer outcomes for all Victorians, with a focus on reducing risk and improving early detection and cancer care.
Australia has the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, with two in three people diagnosed by the aged of 70. In 2019, melanoma was the fifth most common cancer in Victoria with 2,841 new cases diagnosed and sadly 270 deaths. The five-year survival rate for Victorians diagnosed with invasive melanoma was at 92 per cent in 2014-2018.
Since commencing in 2015 and now it’s seventh year, the Shade Grants Program has awarded over 1900 grants totalling more than $17.5 million, to help schools and community groups install much needed shade in school grounds, community spaces and sporting clubs
Over 1100 submissions were made in round six of the program in 2021. Applications were assessed on quality of the proposed project, need in the community and impact. The round was extremely competitive and the high number of applications meant that only one in four could be funded.
If you know of an eligible school or community organisation encourage them to visit the Shade Grants website.