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Adjunct Associate Professor Craig Sinclair

Adjunct Associate Professor Craig Sinclair has been instrumental in shaping and revising Australia's cancer prevention standards. As the Head of Prevention at Cancer Council Victoria, Mr Sinclair has the expertise and resources to influence public policy through the continuous improvement of our standards. More recently, and in his capacity as Chair of the Technical Committee for Sunscreen Agents, Mr Sinclair was involved in revising a labelling and testing standard for sunscreen to bring national standards in line with those of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).  

Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Queensland and the Head of Prevention at Cancer Council Victoria, Craig Sinclair, has contributed to public health in truly monumental ways. These contributions were recognised on an international level in 2010 by the United States Environment Protection Agency (EPA) when he was awarded an EPA Montreal Protocol Award for his substantial contribution to human health protection.

Within his current capacity at the Cancer Council Victoria, Mr Sinclair is responsible for developing and delivering population-wide cancer prevention and screening programs. Mr Sinclair is also the Director of the World Health Organization's (WHO) Collaborative Centre for UV Radiation and a member of the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) UV and Ozone Scientific Advisory Group. As an expert media commentator on a broad range of public health issues related to cancer prevention - including obesity, alcohol and cancer screening - he has substantial experience influencing public policy.  

Mr Sinclair utilises his vast experience in cancer prevention and passion for change through his position as chair of the Technical Committee CS-042, Sunscreen Agents, to help shape and reform standards around UV protection. In 2021, he was influential in revising an important standard within this space – AS/NZS 2604, Sunscreen Products – Evaluation and Classification.  

This standard sets out testing methods and labelling requirements for sunscreen products, including the water resistance and UV filtering requirements, making it an important confidence builder for consumers.  

“In recent years, we have seen some misconceptions about sunscreen safety - particularly on social media - which is surprising given the strong evidence of effectiveness of sunscreen to reduce skin cancer risk. We know standards with clear testing requirements and labelling guidelines are key in building trust for this vitally importantly product for Australian consumers," said Mr Sinclair.  

The revision completes the transition of procedures for determining broad spectrum, sun protection factor (SPF) and water resistance from local Australian and New Zealand test methods to align with globally written, agreed and published standards from the International Organization of Standardization (ISO).

This is just one of many contributions from Mr Sinclair throughout his career. Mr Sinclair told Standards Australia about one of his proudest contributions to standards; in the early 2000s, he and his committee published a fast-track revision of a tanning bed standard – AS/NZS 2635:2008, Solaria for cosmetic purposes.

"You may remember before sunbeds were banned outright, a woman named Clare Oliver passed away from what she considered was her exposure to sunbeds that led to her melanoma and, sadly, her death. She successfully campaigned for banning sunbeds in Victoria for under 18-year-olds," Mr Sinclair said.  

"This led to a process of fast-tracking the revision of the Solaria standard. At the time it was probably one of the fastest developed standards in Standards Australia's history. We achieved this in part because there was so much political will for a national standard to provide guidance to industry.

"We went from ‘go’ to ‘woah’ with the standard in under 12 months. It was a remarkable turnaround. It became the benchmark by which we could measure compliance and see what the industry was doing compared to what the standard stipulated. Given there was such poor compliance by the sunbed industry to the Standard, state and territory governments were compelled to act to ban commercial sunbeds outright."  

Shortly after, Mr Sinclair’s contribution as Chair of the committee was recognised formally by Standards Australia with the Solaria Standard winning the 2008 Outstanding Committee Award.  

"Australia owes a great deal of appreciation to Mr Sinclair, as his work over 20 years has contributed significantly to our sun-safety behaviour and the availability of high quality products. Standards Australia is honoured to have worked with him and there’s no doubt he will continue to influence public safety for years to come,” said Adam Stingemore, Standards Australia’s General Manager of Engagement and Communications.