2021 has been another year of ups and downs. Fortunately here in North Queensland, we’ve been able to (mostly) live without lockdowns, which has allowed us to actively participate in important campaigns. With Australia still leading the world with skin cancer rates, spreading the sun safety message is as important as ever! 

We’ve whittled down Skin Repair’s 2021 highlights to our top five moments:

1. Melanoma March

16,000 Australians are expected to be diagnosed with melanoma this year… however doctors believe Australia can achieve ZERO deaths from melanoma in the next decade. Melanoma March (organised by the Melanoma Institute of Australia) is an important national campaign to help accomplish this goal. 

Along with some of our patients, radio personality Glenn ‘Minty’ Mintern, and local media, we were able spread melanoma awareness across North Queensland. We also facilitated fundraising for essential research, altogether $4,125 was raised locally for the national campaign. For Skin Repair, Melanoma March culminated in our ‘Footprints for Melanoma’ event on the Strand. It was a lovely morning! Read the full recap here.

2. IntelliStudio2 Launch

We were excited to launch this world-leading technology earlier in the year! IntelliStudio2 is a major upgrade of traditional full body photography. It is recommended by skin cancer specialists around the world for its advanced ability to reliably track changes to the skin. When used in the hands of a skin cancer specialist, this cutting-edge technology can even help pinpoint melanoma less than 1mm in size. Find out more here

3. ‘Medicine Women’ Book Launch

Our medical director, Dr Helena Rosengren, was honoured to contribute to the ‘Medicine Women’ book. A compilation of short autobiographical stories, Medicine Women explores the often challenging path of female health professionals, and the personal and professional experiences which shaped their career. 

In a Townsville Bulletin article on 27 July, Dr Helena described the process of writing the chapter as a healing process. “Returning to traumatic childhood events that affected my whole family and helped shape who I am was a cathartic process. Looking back on this difficult time of my life, I have come to realise it is entirely possible that without the challenges we had to overcome, I may not have had the opportunity to study to be a doctor, emigrate to Australia, and contribute to saving lives and preventing skin cancer as a doctor, researcher, and lecturer”. 

Medicine Women has become a bestseller, and is truly an inspiring read. You can find it here.

4. ‘Covering the Community’ Marquee Giveaway

This was a first for Skin Repair!  During October, we gave away 5 x $1,000 marquees to local sports and community groups. The marquees help protect against North Queensland’s harsh UV rays, while spreading the important sun safety message to our wider community. The lucky winners were Coral Sea Outriggers, Rockwheelers Mountain Bike Club, All Abilities Watersports, Junior Townsville Picnic Bay SLSC, and Thuringowa Bulldogs AFL club. The giveaway was a lot of fun and we look forward to seeing the marquees in action across Townsville!

5. National Skin Cancer Action Week

The end of November = National Skin Cancer Action week. This is Cancer Council’s national campaign which encourages Australians to take preventative action against skin cancer. Despite the success of the original ‘Slip, Slop, Slap campaign’, recent studies have shown that only 35% of Australian women and 21% of Australian men are regular sunscreen users. The theme of this year’s campaign was ‘the job’s not done until we’re all safe from the sun’.   

We were pleased to see our own patients get behind this campaign, along with the assistance of local media, to help spread the vital sun safety message across North Queensland. Read our full update here.

As the end of the year fast approaches, we would like to take the opportunity to say a big THANK YOU to our Skin Repair community. We appreciate the support over the year, and look forward to seeing you in 2022.