Melville: Biggest Morning Tea for cancer leads to schools becoming more sunsmart


Melville Senior High School Students Connor Deaville (Year 12), Megan Hooper (Year 11), and Amber Maria (Year 10) with Melville PS student Audrey Charlton (Year 4), Caralee Community student Jeese Gileed (Year 3) and Booragoon PS student Georgia Marston (Year 2) with a UV Meter. Picture: Matt Jelonek d453434
Melville Senior High School Students Connor Deaville (Year 12), Megan Hooper (Year 11), and Amber Maria (Year 10) with Melville PS student Audrey Charlton (Year 4), Caralee Community student Jeese Gileed (Year 3) and Booragoon PS student Georgia Marston (Year 2) with a UV Meter. Picture: Matt Jelonek d453434

IT all started with the Cancer Council’s Biggest Morning Tea for one Melville Primary School parent, where she decided awareness as well as fundraising was just as vital an action.

The Melville area’s last fundraising effort gained nearly $8000.

Seeing the Biggest Morning Tea popularity steadily rising in the school environment, Emma Charlton decided it was time to work on educating the prevention of the disease as well as fundraising for a cure.

Ms Charlton said young students could lead by example, displaying sun smart practises that would follow them into their teenage and adult lives, and encouraged local schools to amp up their efforts.

Melville Primary School, Caralee Community School and Booragoon Primary School agreed, introducing no hat, no play policies, installing extra shade around the school and sunscreen in every classroom.

“The whole campaign is around the idea of UV, and how it adds up,” Ms Charlton said.

“You don’t know what to do when someone is affected by cancer, but to do nothing is not an option.”

Following the example set by their younger counterparts, Melville Senior High School will introduce a cap later this year to their school uniform.

Students had a number of options to vote for, with the cap being the favoured choice.

All schools have also implemented an ability to check the UV rating through their social media accounts, websites or on campus for students, parents and teachers to check.

“It’s great that they’re taking that initiative, as not many schools have hats across WA,” SunSmart school program co-ordinator Sally Blane said.

“The rate of melanomas is dropping… protective practises children are using are contributing to that.”

Ms Blane said schools were really beginning to take on the SunSmart message for future generations.

“Things are turning around,” she said.

Melville’s Biggest Morning Tea is on May 26 from 9.30 to 11am at the Church Hall, 56 McLean Street Melville.