Checking with Community

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L-R: Michelle Smith, Alex Whitehead, Shaun Durdin, Frank Goring, Mindy Durdin

Every year in Australia, skin cancers account for around 80% of all newly diagnosed cancers. Glencore’s Rolleston Open Cut understands how important regular skin checks are and so in 2020 they began providing free checks to all their employees. Then they took it a step further, running free skin check clinics in their neighbouring communities.

Samantha Davis, Senior Environment and Community Advisor at Rolleston Open Cut (ROC) said they started the initiative in 2020 as ROC recognised that early detection and intervention of skin cancers is critical for successful treatment. After a positive response from the workforce, the next year they decided to expand the initiative to run a free skin check clinic in Springsure for members of the community and it’s grown every year since.

“Since 2022, we saw an even bigger opportunity to help more people and expanded the clinics to include both Springsure and Rolleston. As an extension to our workforce clinics, and a willingness to invest in our communities’ health and wellbeing, we provide this service free of charge,” said Samantha.

“Particular health services like this can be hard to access in rural communities, and it can be difficult to travel further afield to access them. The results found that many of the people who used the service hadn’t had a skin check for more than 12 months, and some had never been to a skin check clinic. It really demonstrated to us how much this was needed in the community.”

This is not the first initiative by ROC to improve health outcomes for their local communities. Previous support has included the provision of a building for the Rolleston Health Facility, funding to support the Springsure Medical Centre for the attraction and retention of a doctor, as well as distribution of equipment like a defibrillator, an audiometer, and a mole scanner.

“We believe it is important to give back to our local communities and to play an active role in them,” said Samantha.

“This year, we partnered with another local community group, Springsure Mountain Challenge, to extend the duration of our skin clinics and spread the message of the importance of skin checks even further.”

Mindy Durdin from the Springsure Mountain Challenge said the partnership was a logical choice for them as ROC has been sponsoring the Springsure Mountain Challenge for the last 10 years. Much more than a local fun run, the Springsure Mountain Challenge is a fundraising event where all money raised goes back into supporting the community. They also raise awareness about important issues and this year the event’s theme was ‘Sun Safety’ making it a perfect partnership.

“Rolleston has been a wonderful supporter so we were very happy to be involved in the free skin check clinics, especially as it aligned so well with our theme this year,” said Mindy.

“We had such a great response from the community. Over the four days we had 134 people come through the clinics and that is a fantastic result. We are grateful to ROC for bringing this fantastic and potentially lifesaving initiative to the communities of Springsure and Rolleston.”

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