FEDERAL Nationals MPs and Senators have compiled an irreverent video clip to support the new ‘Leave Your Hat On’ campaign which aims to raise greater awareness of melanoma prevention, treatment and to raise funds.
Other celebrities have backed the national promotion that’s running this month including Australian country music singer Lee Kernaghan and Australian cricket’s star opening batsman David Warner.
But the Nationals’ cheeky contribution - especially Transport Minister and Victorian MP Darren Chester in the never to be unseen, closing scene - moving to the tune of Joie Cocker’s iconic ‘You Can Leave Your Hat On’, is sure to set political tongues wagging.
Mr Chester was the brainchild behind the short and cocky video clip promotion and says it’s all for a good cause.
“It's all meant to be a bit of fun with my Nationals’ colleagues but at the same time we want to highlight an important health issue in regional areas,” he said.
“Too many country people die from skin cancer or have serious health issues and we want to encourage everyone to take precautionary measure like wearing a hat.
“I want to congratulate the Melanoma Institute for the 'Leave Your Hat On' campaign and urge everyone to make a donation, large or small, to support research and awareness of this disease.”
Nationals leader and Agriculture and Water Resources Minister Barnaby Joyce also makes a tongue in cheek contribution in the video promotion.
But he also leaves a poignant message about his own personal experiences with melanoma and the importance of wearing a hat.
”You might think the hat looks a bit silly but I can tell you, when they start cutting bits of your body off – if they cut your nose off or your ear off to get rid of the cancer – that looks even sillier,” he said.
The incidence of new cases of melanoma is higher in regional areas than in major cities, with farmers more likely to die of skin cancer than any other group, with a 60 per cent higher death rate.
Farmers 65 and over are twice as likely to die of skin cancer than other Australians.
“Leave Your Hat On” is a new national campaign to raise awareness and much-needed funds for early detection and treatment research on melanoma which one Australian dies of every five hours and kills more 20-39-year old Australians than any other cancer.
According to the campaign material, almost 14,000 Australians are expected to be diagnosed with melanoma.
“The good news is that if melanoma is identified at an early stage, simple treatment can often result in a complete cure,” it says.