North Queensland sun-safety award: lessons learned from a health promotion pilot in local government

Bartlett, Lynne, Harrison, Simone, Nowak, Madeleine, and Taylor, Christine (2009) North Queensland sun-safety award: lessons learned from a health promotion pilot in local government. Journal of Rural and Tropical Public Health, 8. pp. 38-41.

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Abstract

Issue addressed: North Queensland (NQ) has the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. The North Queensland Skin Cancer Network aimed to promote sun-safety to a wider audience than their Townsville base. A pilot award scheme was conceived to promote the development of quality sun-safety strategies by Local Government Authorities (LGAs). This paper describes the development and outcomes of the pilot award scheme, and explores the barriers and enabling factors to participating in the scheme.

Methods: All NQ councils were encouraged to enter the awards for sun-safe initiatives. A 7-point assessment criterion was used by five judges to determine the winner, who received a plaque, perpetual trophy and $2500 for further sun-safety initiatives at an award ceremony attended by the media. Feedback was obtained about non-participation.

Results: Seven entries were received from four rural and two regional councils. Most entries showcased shade structures. The winner, a regional shire council, nominated their development of a recreational facility incorporating an urban forest. Barriers to participation included: inadequate priority allocated by councils to sun-safety initiatives; workforce shortages; lack of economic viability; and incomplete projects at closure of nomination.

Conclusion: Whilst distribution of the award report demonstrating innovative sun-safety projects to all councils was a good outcome, LGAs were probably the wrong audience for the small financial prize. Targeting community groups, schools and individuals may have elicited more entries, enabling greater reach of the sunsafety messages and thereby increasing demand for council investment in sun-safety by the community.

Item ID: 9645
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: sun-safety; skin cancer prevention; local government; health promotion; shade provision; barriers to participation
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ISSN: 1832-2921
Funders: Queensland Health
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2010 05:44
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111705 Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety @ 20%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111712 Health Promotion @ 60%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management @ 20%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920405 Environmental Health @ 20%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920401 Behaviour and Health @ 80%
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