Lesson from a sunburnt childhood

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald, January 2019

I had an idyllic upbringing on the famous Bondi beach in the 1960s. I would swim before and after school and was a member of the local swimming and surf club.

I remember seeing coconut oil sprayed on sunbathers with the intention of getting more burnt for a better tan. There was a dangerous ignorance and total lack of awareness about what the sun was doing.

Like most kids the only protection I had from ultra-violet damage to my skin was a layer of pink zinc put lovingly on the nose by my parents. They knew no better. A bronzed skin was viewed as a sign of health and vitality. Regardless of the later skin damage I experienced I would not have swapped my upbringing.

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