Wes Bonny's Story: Family and friends


The Wes Bonny Story tells the true story of a 26-year-young man who died of melanoma in March 2010.

Wes's story demonstrates that melanoma does affect young people. It also acknowledges that people may know how to protect themselves from the sun, but need to be more vigilant about sun protection.

Melanoma is one of the most serious cancers affecting young people and Wes's story is like that of any young Australian. He, with his family and friends, did things that many young Australians do, such as playing sport, going to the beach and enjoying the iconic outdoor Australian lifestyle. He wasn't trying to get a tan and did his best to protect himself from the sun but despite his efforts, he was diagnosed with melanoma when he was just 23 years old. The melanoma was removed but it was already in his bloodstream and later spread to his brain.

The campaign features Wes's parents, brothers and friends who recount their experiences of Wes's life, diagnosis and death.

Wes Bonny's experience challenges Australians to be more vigilant about sun protection behaviour. Reduce your risk by protecting your skin when you're outdoors during sun protection times.

Check the sun protection times each day in the weather section of your daily newspaper, on the SunSmart and BOM websites or on the free SunSmart app. During the daily sun protection times, use a combination of sun protection measures: slip on a long-sleeved shirt, slap on a broad-brimmed hat, slop on SPF30 or higher sunscreen, slide on sunglasses and seek shade.

About the campaign

Developed by the Cancer Institute NSW, the SunSmart program first implemented the campaign in Victoria in 2011 with funding from the State Government and VicHealth.

In Victoria, Wes's Story has been successful in increasing young Victorians' perceived susceptibility to melanoma and the tagline, ‘You Know What To Do, Do It' has made people more aware of their ability to protect themselves from this preventable cancer.

Results suggest that young people have high levels of knowledge about skin cancer and sun protection, but need to be reminded to put what they know into practice.

2015 summer SunSmart campaign

The Wes Bonny Story will be broadcast in Victoria this summer with funding from the State Government. The Wes Bonny Story will feature on metro and regional TV commencing Sunday 25 January, along with advertisements from the Dark Side of Tanning campaign. The Wes Bonny Story will also be broadcast in cinemas. This activity will be supported by radio, print and online advertising.

The campaign will run until the end of February 2015.

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