Sunbed campaigner acknowledged as one of most influential Australians
17 December 2014
Congratulations to MIA’s Community Co-ordinator, Jay Allen, for being acknowledged on the honour roll of Australia’s most influential people in the non-profit sector.
As a former sunbed user, Jay was diagnosed with stage 3 melanoma in 2008 – a diagnosis that changed his life, turning the former truck driver into a passionate advocate to have sunbeds banned across Australia.
“I started the campaign to ban solariums in Australia in December 2008 because I wasn’t aware of the risks involved when I used them. I didn’t want others to go through what I did by exposing themselves to the harm of these dangerous machines, not knowing the risks associated with them.” Jay says. “With this ban, our future generations will reap the benefits.”
By teaming up with Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon, NSW Greens MP Dr John Kaye, and leading health professor at The University of Sydney Professor Simon Chapman, and together with the support of Melanoma Institute Australia, Jay has ensured the banning of solariums got the attention it deserved.
“I’ve had many meetings with politicians all over Australia sharing my messages about the dangers of solarium use, ran petitions, awareness days, etc.” says Jay. “Persistence has been the key and always speaking from the heart about a real issue that is costing many Australians their life.”
Jay started the campaign that saw sunbeds banned initially in NSW and then throughout Australia. He continues to passionately raise awareness of melanoma and funds for a cure. His campaigning has now moved to New Zealand where he has teamed up with melanoma survivors and key organisations to achieve a ban.
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