Lee Kernaghan

Skin Cancer College Australasia is pleased to have country music icon and 36 times Golden Guitar winner Lee Kernaghan as our foundation ambassador.

Lee Kernaghan, our foundation Ambassador, shares why he is working with us to promote early detection and accredited skin cancer doctors.

The chart topper and 2008 Australian of the Year is a long-time and passionate supporter of rural and regional Australia and has previously spearheaded campaigns encouraging Australians to be sun-smart.

Like many Australians, the ‘Boy from the Bush’ has had a number of skin cancer scares.

“Every day I sing about a sunburnt country, but Australia’s great outdoors can definitely take a toll on your skin,” Kernaghan said.

“I’ve learnt first-hand how important it is to get regular skin checks.”

“I’m honoured to be Skin Cancer College Australasia’s foundation ambassador. Together I’m confident we can educate Australians about the critical benefits of the early detection of skin cancers and the need to visit an Accredited Skin Cancer Doctor for regular skin checks.”

Approximately, two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they are 70.

Every year, in Australia skin cancers account for approximately 80 per cent of all newly diagnosed cancers, with the majority of skin cancers caused by exposure to the sun1.

Australia and New Zealand have the highest Melanoma rates in the world. In Australia, Melanoma represents 2 per cent of all skin cancers but causes 75 per cent of skin cancer deaths, with one Australian dying every five hours from the disease2.

We look forward to working with Lee to raise awareness of the importance of early detection of skin cancers.

1Cancer Council Australia
2Melanoma Institute Australia

Leisa Renwick

Cancer advocate and campaigner, Leisa Renwick is Skin Cancer College Australasia’s first New Zealand ambassador.

Leisa Renwick, our New Zealand Ambassador, shares her story of being diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma, survivorship and advocacy for improved prevention and treatment of skin cancers.

Diagnosed with stage-four melanoma on Mother’s Day in 2015, doctors told the mother of three she had weeks to live.

Fortunately, her husband Wayne refused to accept the prognosis and discovered a private oncology specialist who administered Leisa with gene therapy treatment and immunotherapy drugs, which, against the odds, saved her life.

“The support and love of my family and friends kept me alive just long enough for the treatment and drugs to start working. I was days away from death,” Leisa said.

Appalled by the have, have not divide in health care, Leisa, while in the midst of her own cancer battle started a petition to Parliament requesting the New Zealand Government fund lifesaving treatment for late-stage melanoma patients, regardless of their socio-economic status.

“In partnership with hundreds of other melanoma patients and their families, we collected more than 11,000 signatures and pressured the Government to take action,” Leisa said.

“They did, giving an extra $39 million in funding to help patients battling advanced melanoma.

“I might have been the public face of the campaign, but I wasn’t standing alone. There were hundreds of brave people who stood beside me and spoke out, including my family and friends, nurses, medical experts and other cancer patients.”

In long-term remission and off treatment since May last year, Leisa is also a vocal advocate for regular skin checks by an Accredited Skin Cancer Doctor.

“They have the expertise and have undergone additional training so they can identify suspicious spots and lesions and accurately diagnose and treat skin cancer,” Leisa said.

“Skin Cancer College Australasia is also using education, research, advocacy and standards to ensure accessible and accurate skin cancer diagnosis and management is available to all New Zealanders.

“It’s an honour to be Skin Cancer College Australasia’s New Zealand ambassador. Together I’m confident we can educate New Zealanders about the critical benefits of the early detection of skin cancers and the need to visit an Accredited Skin Cancer Doctor for regular skin checks.