Pictured from left, anticlockwise Tim Jennett with Cancer Council staff Tammy Johnston, Anchal Goel, Jennifer Mozina, Chelsea Barwise, Emma Fitzgerald and Mia Parsons. Photo: KIRK GILMOUR
The NSW Cancer Council brought free Wi-Fi access to the sands of North Wollongong Beach last week to remind teenagers to "Slip, Slop, Slap" this summer.
The Sun Sound Van is touring coastal regions targeting teens in a sun safety campaign after research revealed the age bracket is failing to use adequate sun protection.
The van provided free wireless internet to beachgoers via the Sun Sound app.
Once the app is downloaded it reminds users to reapply sunscreen every two hours while they are on the beach.
The reminder comes in the form of a five-second jingle produced by Australian musician Ben Lee.
The app uses GPS technology to send messages to users to reapply sunscreen when the app determines their location is a beach.
North Beach lifeguard supervisor Tim Jennett was inspired to get involved in the campaign after having a melanoma removed three years ago.
"If I can stop one person going through what I did, it's worth it," he said.
Two procedures and 80 stitches later, the melanoma was successfully removed from Mr Jennett's head.
The North Wollongong lifeguard attributed his diagnosis to the time he spent in the sun both personally and professionally.
He said the number of teenage beachgoers neglecting to cover up on North Wollongong Beach was disappointing.
"I used sunscreen and covered up but I still got a melanoma so it's really disappointing to see people not covering up on the beach," he said.
Mia Parsons from the Cancer Council said although the program encouraged everyone to be sun smart, teens needed to be reminded more.
"Our survey revealed that 37 per cent of teens were using sunscreen but forgetting to reapply. They want to do the right thing but they're forgetting," she said.
Jaiyden Fenwick, 13, downloaded the app while visiting the van to top up on free sunscreen and water.
"I think the app is a good idea because once you download you get reminded to keep putting on sunscreen," he said.