The Melanoma Foundation was established as a charitable foundation of the University of Sydney in 1986. It arose from Australia's first melanoma clinic at Sydney Hospital and became the Foundation when the Sydney Melanoma Unit was transferred to the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. At that time a major need to encourage early diagnosis of melanoma was obvious, so the Foundation took this need as its first area of endeavour. Very quickly its programs expanded to include raising community awareness of the damaging effects of sunlight, and a major clinical and biological research program.
In 2010 the Melanoma Foundation continues its mission to support world class research into melanoma, its causes and treatments, through fostering a culture of research for both the clinical and non clinical members within the University of Sydney.