What is your background?
I have been a journalist for many years and have navigated several roles from print to digital. It’s been a wonderful ride and I’m so grateful for all of the opportunities along the way.
As a journalist and editorial director, how do you see journalism and social media as being influential platforms for health and wellness?
We are incredibly influential and it is so important that we do our due diligence by reporting the facts, using multiple sources for stories, and providing research and information for people to make educated decisions.
When did you first become aware of sun safety as it relates to beauty and health?
I grew up in Australia so we were raised with the Slip Slop Slap campaign since the early 80s—slip on a shirt, slop on some sunscreen, and slap on a hat! We have a high rate of skin cancer in Australia despite the campaign because we spend so much time in the sun. We live a very outdoors lifestyle because generally the weather is so good but that also means our skin is exposed and many Australians still aren’t wearing sunscreen or reapplying as often as they should while wearing hats, sunglasses, and protective clothing. My mom was very strict about sunscreen so she introduced it to me early—I have vivid memories of her applying it all over us on the beach in Cairns and I hated it but I’m so glad she did now.
How can we encourage more content creation that promotes positive messages?
I think we have to educate by example. It can’t just be on the shoulders of the government or estheticians, although my friends in the beauty industry are always preaching about sunscreen. I show my son that I use it every day and I apply his face with cream too and he knows to wear a hat everyday. I think our schools here also need to educate our kids so that it becomes instinctual for them. I know Supergoop has been doing a great job of changing outdated regulations to ensure kids can apply sunscreen themselves at school but I am surprised that there isn’t a stricter policy here for hats. In Australia, you can’t play in the yard at lunch or recess if you don’t have your hat and it has to be one with the fabric that goes down the neck too. I think it’s so important for us to educate kids now so that putting on sunscreen is as habitual as brushing their teeth because it’s just as important.
Photo by Tasya Van Ree