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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 10 November 2021) . . Page.. 3257 ..

My father had a part of the back of his ear grafted onto his nose because when he was young he would go outside and play. You would go to the beach all day and you would get as red as a tomato. It was just part of life. That is no longer considered normal. And that is a huge improvement for our whole community.

The messaging has to work for older Canberrans too. Monitoring your skin, monitoring any changes and seeking treatment early on is critical to ensuring that potentially cancerous changes to one’s skin are detected early and treated, whatever your age.

The Canberra Liberals support the motion and we look forward to the opportunities and initiatives that this will provide, hopefully, for local artists.

MR DAVIS (Brindabella) (3.13): The ACT Greens will be supporting the motion put forward by Dr Paterson today. I thank Dr Paterson for bringing forward the motion. I was particularly encouraged and delighted to hear that today’s motion from Dr Paterson was a result of her active and engaged work with her constituents, reminding all of us that being good, effective local members is our first responsibility.

This motion reinforces and reminds all of us of the role we play in promoting healthy habits and modelling good practices for young people. As we have seen through the recent COVID-19 lockdowns in Canberra, public messaging is key to a health-based response to issues that we are facing as a society.

The ACT Greens are advocates for a preventative emphasis to public health measures. We want to build a culture of good health by healthy behaviours and opportunities to access preventative and accessible care, not a culture of simply focusing on treating disease and ill health. We understand that preventative health care is the most effective way to improve the health and wellbeing of all Canberrans and reduce our healthcare costs. If we are serious about tackling the need for acute healthcare services, we must embed preventative health measures in daily life.

Dr Paterson’s motion calls upon the ACT government to action the types of preventative public awareness campaigns through a format that I am a particular fan of—that is, investigating and implementing murals and posters around ACT playgrounds to mainstream the importance of sun-smart health in the everyday lives of children, teenagers and parents in the ACT. Public art makes a beautiful and invaluable contribution to our city, and supporting local artists, while also supporting health messages, is an idea we should all enthusiastically support.

Too often, I fear that the education in schools around sun-smart safety feigns irrelevance to students once they have left the school campus, perhaps not by any fault of their own but by the association of the principles of this education. This is something that must be practised at schools, at home and in the community. We know that two-thirds of Australians will be diagnosed with some form of skin cancer by the age of 70. This statistic, if nothing else, should speak worlds about the importance of the unique and far-spread education campaigns that this motion seeks to explore and implement within the everyday areas of our public life.

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