Lions clubs take action on melanoma

From left: Barry Davis, Barry McDonald, Tom Kaitler, Fran Kaitler, Wendy Hellebrand and George Walpole.

Australia, unfortunately, holds a grim title: the highest melanoma rate globally.

Every 30 minutes, a person in the country receives a melanoma diagnosis, with someone succumbing to the disease every six hours. (Source: Melanoma Institute Australia).

Screening stands as a crucial tool in combating these alarming statistics.

In line with Lions Australia’s commitment to enhancing health and wellbeing, the Lions Clubs of the Macedon Ranges took decisive action. After more than a year of meticulous planning, they united over two weekends in April to inaugurate the Lion’s Skin Checking and Awareness Unit in Woodend.

This state-of-the-art facility, costing $500,000 to procure and $110,000 annually to operate, boasts amenities such as its own generator, water supply, heated consulting rooms and office space.

Volunteer dermoscopists, trained by the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, along with a driver coordinator, manage the unit.

Strategically situated just outside the Woodend Visitor Centre, the unit aimed to increase accessibility to skin checks.

Volunteers from various Macedon Ranges Lions clubs – Woodend, Riddells Creek, Kyneton, Trentham, Gisborne, Lancefield and Romsey – manned the centre over the weekends. The clubs also provided financial support for the accommodation and hospitality of the volunteers who run the van.

Of the 229 individuals screened, 45 per cent had never undergone a skin check, and 34 per cent hadn’t been screened in over a year. One-third required specialist referral due to detected lesions.

Since its inception, the Lion’s Skin Checking and Awareness Unit has screened 10,000 individuals across Victoria and Southern NSW. The community impact, coupled with potential lives saved, amounts to approximately $28,000 per community – what it would have cost individuals for such services.

The Lions Clubs continually seeks new volunteers to support initiatives like these. If you’re passionate about health, community welfare and making a difference, consider joining your local Lions Club. Visit to locate your nearest club, and most have active Facebook pages. Join today and be welcomed warmly into the fold by any of the Macedon Ranges clubs