What is your name?
My name is Tim.
Describe yourself in 3 to 5 words.
I'm very sun conscious.
How did you discover your families skin condition history?
I have a long family history of melanoma on my Mother’s side - my Mum has had three melanomas removed along with a number of other skin cancers, and her mother died from melanoma. When mum was growing up in Sydney 70 years ago she just didn’t know about the harmful impacts of the Australian sun, especially on pale Caucasian skin. Her family spent a lot of time outdoors and at the beach when she was young, with no sunscreen and minimal sun protection.
On my Father’s side, things are much better, and my Dad is a sun-smart role model. Even though Dad grew up in Williamstown next to Port Phillip Bay bay in Melbourne and spent a lot of his youth swimming and spearfishing, he still managed to avoid getting sun-damaged skin and his skin today is as pale as the day he was born.
He has always worn a broad-brimmed Akubra hat, sunglasses, long-sleeved shirts, trousers and sunscreen for as long as I can remember. He walked to and from work every day like this and spent his entire career in offices, so minimised his sun exposure during the peak UV times in the middle of the day.
I have been sunburnt a number of times, especially in my teens, and I remember one extremely bad sunburn when I was 17. I have had several moles removed, but fortunately no skin cancers.
What is your attitude towards sun protection today?
I keep out of the sun wherever possible during the day. If I have to go out into the open, I will always wear a broad-brimmed hat, sunglasses, SPF50+ sunscreen, a long-sleeved shirt, trousers and stick to the shade as much as I can.
What would you tell your 16-year-old self about sun protection?
Get out of the sun and for goodness sake don’t ever get sunburnt! Do everything you can to minimise your exposure between 8am and 4:30pm during peak UV times, and otherwise always wear a hat, sunnies, sunscreen, long sleeves and trousers, and stick to the shade.
Thank you Tim for helping raise awareness for skin cancer, melanoma and skin conditions, and sharing your story with us and our Solbari Community.