"I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious" - Albert Einstein

Category: Humanities

Skin Cancer in Australia

“At least 2 out of 3 Australians will be diagnosed with some form of skin cancer before the age of 70.” (Skin Cancer in Australia). This is crazy to think about, it means that two-thirds of Australia’s population would have suffered from skin cancer at some point in their life. Something must be done to stop this problem before it gets worse. Goal 3 in the United Nations Sustainable Goals is “Good Health and Well-Being” (Sustainable Development Goals). This goal aims to provide health care to everyone globally and ensure that everyone lives a healthy life. Raising awareness of a certain type of disease that can potentially affect one’s health is a crucial step, in this case, it is raising awareness about skin cancer in Australia. Skin cancer has been a major problem in Australia for many decades now, over the years, governments, communities, and organizations have been experimenting and innovating in solutions to raise awareness of skin cancer, and researchers are actively trying to find better and more effective solutions to decrease the population of skin cancer patients in Australia.


The population of Skin Cancer Patients in Australia


Figure 1 A picture of Australia from a space view

To begin with, there is a significant population in Australia that suffers from skin cancer every year and it has become a major problem that all Australians face.

Research shows that “Western Australia has one of the highest rates of melanoma in the world with over 1,300 people diagnosed each year.” (Skin Cancer in Australia). The large population of skin cancer patients is certainly concerning, in 2021, 64 in every 100,000 Australian suffered from skin cancer. This is a shocking number, a number never like before. In the previous years, for example, from 2005 to 2009, only 33 out of every 100000 Australians were diagnosed with skin cancer. (“Skin Cancer in Australia”). The huge increase in the number of patients clearly reflects how skin cancer is becoming a serious problem in Australia. Some might think that skin cancer had only become a common problem in recent years, however, it had been noticed since the 1960s-1980s (Radiation: Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation). As for a fact, Australia has a very hot and sometimes humid climate, so it makes sense that there is a blazing sun all year round across the country, and Australians are known to have a passion for outdoor sports, events, or even just sunbathing (Skin Cancer in Australia). These are also reasons why Australia has a large population of skin cancer patients. The country always had a hot climate, so the people in the past decades would have naturally been exposed to strong sunlight and UV rays as well. It has only become a problem people talk about more commonly in the past decade because of the research that has been going on and the topic of ‘skin cancer’ that is much more talked about these days. So, skin cancer has been quite a serious problem since the 1900s, and it is only been more formally addressed recently.


Solutions and Actions


Figure 2 The SunSmart guide to the sun and UV ray protection

 Moreover, since skin cancer is becoming a more threatening problem in Australia, people and groups took action to address the problem.

Communities and organizations around Australia tried to find solutions and develop plans as to how to raise awareness of skin cancer. Measures are put in place around communities in hopes that it will alert the public and remind them to take action and prevent skin cancer from affecting them. Some advice they listed were staying in the shade, using broad-spectrum sunscreen on exposed skin, wearing broad-brimmed hats, etc. (Skin Cancer in Australia). As a fact, a mature and final plan for raising awareness of skin cancer is yet to be developed, but strategic research has been done to answer some of the questions surrounding the topic. Researchers have found that some people with certain characteristics are more likely to get skin cancer than others. Some risk factors for skin cancer are fair skin, light-colored hair, freckles, and people with a history of severe sunburn. (“Radiation: Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation”). It is specified that people with these characteristics should be more careful when being exposed to the sun and UV rays because they are more vulnerable than others. The problem of skin cancer has caught the attention of the National Government as well and the Government put measures in place, such as, encouraging regulated skin check-ins and setting up protocols in schools to help raise awareness. (Green Square Dermatology). Actions are taken to raise awareness of skin cancer in Australia, communities, organizations, and the Governments are all in to help lower the skin cancer rate and save more people from suffering.


Future Plans


Figure 3 Photo of people sunbathing, tanning, relaxing, etc. on a beach at Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

In addition, although plans and solutions have already been created and attempted, more needs to be done.

Action had already been taken to address the skin cancer problem in Australia, but more can be done, and here is how. Australians love a good tan, whether that is out on the beach or on an artificial tanning (sun)bed, but many do not understand the risk of tanning under the sun if there is no proper protection for the skin. Some Australians, even when they knew the risk beforehand, choose to tan without sunscreen or any form of protection. Seeing that this was a severe problem, in 2016, all six Australian states had banned commercial sunbed usage, in hopes that fewer people will tan artificially (Anderson). As said before, “public health campaigns are useful” (Anderson), but it does not capture attention enough to make a big difference. Banning commercial sunbeds helps raise awareness of skin cancer dramatically all-around Australia, “more people in Australia read about melanoma- the most lethal type of skin cancer – on the internet and looked for alternatives, such as spray tans.” (Reynolds). People’s misconception about tanning on sunbeds was safely cleared up and they finally started to realize the damage UV rays and sunlight can cause to their skin, it can be deadly. Seeing that the sunbed ban was very effective, the states in Australia implemented public awareness programs to educate people more about what harm ‘too much’ sunlight can do. Focusing on children’s education so they can be aware from the very beginning (Reynolds). Australia has taken a big step forward in raising awareness about skin cancer, but there is much more that needs to be done. Statistics show that an estimated number of 16878 people was diagnosed with melanoma alone in the year 2021, and the death count from all types of cancer in 2021 is 1315 (Melanoma of the skin). That is a horrifying number to think about. More people need to be educated, more plans should be made, and more actions need to be taken. If Australia wants to see a significant change, more needs to be done.

Figure 4 Photo of a sunbed

In conclusion, skin cancer should be a topic more Australians are educated about because it is affecting many people, work has already been done but there is much more to do to make a change. If SDG goal 3 is to be accomplished by 2030, it is crucial that we pay attention to the topic of skin cancer in Australia now. It is the little things that together, achieve things much greater, and we should all work together to help Australia become more aware of the issue. Australia is not the only country that is affected by skin cancer, many other countries are affected as well, countries such as the US also have a significant population of skin cancer patients (Reynolds). If this problem is not taken seriously, the whole world could end up being a victim of skin cancer, which is something no one wants to see. Therefore, everyone should work together and raise awareness about the topic of skin cancer in Australia.


Works Cited

Anderson, Tatum. “Restricting the Use of Sunbeds to Prevent Skin Cancer.” World Health Organization, Dec. 2017. SIRS Issues Researcher, explore.proquest.com/sirsissuesresearcher/document/2263354708?accountid=4047.

“Melanoma of the Skin.” Cancer Australia, 5 Jan. 2022, www.canceraustralia.gov.au/cancer-types/melanoma/statistics. Accessed 30 May 2022.

“Radiation: Ultraviolet (UV) radiation and skin cancer.” World Health Organization, 16 Oct. 2017, www.who.int/news-room/questions-and-answers/item/radiation-ultraviolet-(uv)-radiation-and-skin-cancer. Accessed 16 May 2022.

Reynolds, Tom. “Sun Plays Havoc with Light Skin down under.” Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 1992. SIRS Issues Researcher, explore.proquest.com/sirsissuesresearcher/document/2249900484?accountid=4047.

“Skin Cancer in Australia.” Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 13 July 2016, www.aihw.gov.au/reports/cancer/skin-cancer-in-australia/summary-1. Accessed 29 May 2022.

“Skin Cancer in Australia.” Cancer Council ACT, actcancer.org/prevention/sunsmart/skin-cancer-in-australia/#:~:text=Melanoma%20in%20Australia,%2C%20bowel%20and%20breast%20cancer). Accessed 12 May 2022.

“Sustainable Development Goals.” United Nations Development Programme, www.undp.org/sustainable-development-goals. Accessed 29 May 2022.


Image Sources





Rebel Against The Dictator: The Journal of Ernesto Fredrick

This is the journal of a soldier in Batista’s (Cuban president during the Cuban Revolution) army during the Cuban Revolution, He recorded the entire revolution from 1956 to 1958. He witnessed the fall of a dictator and the success of a rebel group led by a man named Castro. Cuba went from a country ruled under dictatorship to a communist country. The U.S was actively involved and its relationship with Cuba took many turns during the revolution. In the end, the U.S did not treat Cuba as their place for entertainment or their ‘playground’ anymore. The revolution was successful and Castro improved many things, but rebels continuously tried to overthrow Castro’s government just like the M-26-7, Castro’s rebel group, tried to overthrow Batista’s government. This revolution is simple yet very interesting, it is definitely an important part of history because many powerful countries at that time such as the U.S, China, and the USSR were involved. And it has much useful information in it such as Guerrilla Warfare. All the details about the revolution from the perspective of a soldier can be found above in the journal of Ernesto Fredrick.


The Rises and Falls of The U.S Playground

Have you ever imagined what being attempted to be killed 638 times feels like?  Fidel Castro certainly have. Many people know Castro for being attempted to be killed by the U.S Government many, many times, but do you know the back story? If you don’t, then the Common Craft video above is perfect for you! It talks about the Cuban Revolution from the beginning, including, how Castro overthrew a dictator, became the president and what happened post-revolution. And the best part.. it is short and concise, in fact, it is under five minutes! The video is clear, entertaining and educational! Go watch the ‘Cuban Revolution Common craft Video’ now!

‘The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks’ Reader’s Notebook Assessment

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot, is a literary non-fiction book about a black woman, Henrietta Lacks, and her immortal cells. The story switches from the perspective of the author and the background story in the 1950-1980. The book explained the entire timeline from when Henrietta was still alive to when she was dead and her immortal cells lived on contributing in many significant medical developments. But Henrietta wasn’t acknowledged for for any of the achievements, she and her family didn’t even know her cells were being used for medical purposes. As the book unfolded the story behind Henrietta and her cells, it also discussed many important topics and central ideas, such as white privilege and racism.


Three of the most highlighted and frequently discussed about central ideas were segregation, white privilege and racism. They were frequently talked about in the book and the author included many facts that supports the ideas. I created a page about the three ideas and gave reasoning and evidence:

After I found the central ideas I wanted to focus on, I took note of each idea separately with different strategies. White privilege definitely stood out and the author gave many examples regarding this issue and central idea. During Henrietta’s time,  white people had way more privilege than black people, white people always had the better option and the black people got what was left. I gathered evidence and created a more detailed mind map demonstrating the idea:

While I was reading the book, I kept a page where I could gather all the central ideas and branched them out into more detailed segments, it was hard finding a theme for this book because the author gave a lot of information but not a lot of story-telling nor things for readers to takeaway. Here is the page I kept track of my ideas on:

From Lesson 7 and 10, I learnt about descriptive paragraphs and rereading. Combining the two I reread a descriptive passage where the author visited the Lacks’s family house and found traces of central ideas (such as segregation) in the passage that I missed when I first read it. This passage also made me think about the comparison between life for black people at that time and life for them today. Although the classism, racism and segregation against them had improved, it is still not uncommon that black people are often harmed by racism. The class difference between black and white people is still visible in society today. This note page helped me understand the living condition for black people back then better and built on my knowledge about segregation and classism.

Above are the three main central ideas I found and the note pages I made to document them. ‘The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks’ had also been made into a movie with the same name The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks that you can check out if you are interested!

Book talk about ‘The Sun is Also a Star’ (Very interesting!)

‘The Sun is Also a Star’ by Nicola Yoon

This contemporary fiction novel is a love story about a Korean boy named Daniel and a Jamaican girl named Natasha. The book discussed many important issues such as racism and deportation. In the book Daniel and Natasha went through a lot of conflicts together and the author weaved the issues into the story very cleverly. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone into romance but still wants to learn something from the book. The novel is overall very interesting and Nicola definitely captured my interest. The theme of the book is that insignificant decisions can often change more important things resulting in benefits and/or consequences.

Aspects of Humanism

Aspects of Humanism by Cecilia

Escape the Other June

Found Poem


My found poem is based off the words of Norma Fox Mazer in the story “Tuesday of the Other June”. The conflict in the found poem was the Other June (antagonist) bullying June (protagonist). When June joined a new swimming class, she found out that there was another girl with the same name as her (the Other June). The Other June was not happy at all about them sharing a name and started bullying June and gave her insulting nicknames. June did not like the Other June’s bullying, but her mum told her to not get into trouble. In June’s opinion, fighting back would cause her trouble so she took in the Other June’s bullying silently. I used short phrases where it showed the Other June physically bullying June, words such as punch and pinch are verbs that showed the physical aspect of the Other June’s bullying (“The other June shoved me into the pool.”). I also included a phrase about June’s internal struggles, Character vs self, (“I didn’t know what to do.”). This showed that the Other June was torturing June both mentally and physically which was a major external conflict between the two characters (character vs character) and an internal conflict showed June struggling to decide whether she should put up with the Other June’s bullying or fight back. Towards the end of the poem the conflict was resolved through the falling action. June’s mother decided that they were going to move to a new place where she found a better job and June finally escaped the Other June. The last two sentences showed June’s excitement about leaving the Other June, (I ran past her, singing, “Goodbye…goodbye…goodbye, good riddance to bad trash!”). The last sentence summed the whole poem up and, in the end, June escaped the Other June, both internal and external conflict was resolved. The background of the swimming pool indicated the setting and the two signs on top signified the Other June pushing June into the pool when she was not meant to and bullying June when she shouldn’t.


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