The loveable minions from the Despicable Me franchise have joined Stephanie Rice in educating Australian children to be sun smart.

Olympic Gold Medallist and Melanoma Foundation ambassador, Stephanie Rice stars alongside the minions from Despicable Me 2 in the new national sun safety campaign launched this week.

Stephanie Rice has enlisted the help of the Minions to provide some easy-to-understand tips that Aussie kids can follow to ensure they’re protected from harmful UV rays when outdoors this summer.

The short video for children demonstrates five easy sun safety tips to have fun in the sun this summer.

Stephanie Rice says the message of sun safety is not new and there are many campaigns out there that educate on the dangers of sun damage, but the number of skin cancer cases continues to rise.

“While most campaigns put the onus on parents, I’ve teamed up with the adorable Minions to speak directly to kids, using characters to help deliver this important message in a way that kids will find fun and memorable,” she says.

Every year skin cancers account for 80 per cent of all newly diagnosed cancers, with Queensland having the highest incidence of skin cancer in the world.

With an estimated 124,910 new cases of cancer diagnosed in Australia this year alone, and this number is set to rise to 150,000 by 2020, the value of teaching sun safety from a young age is more important than ever before.

Managing Director at Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Jim Batchelor adds they are delighted to work with Stephanie Rice to educate children about sun safety, and to arm them with practical skills to help them stay safe.

The messages promoted in the video include:

1. Slip, Slop, Slap

2. Make friends with your hat

3. Protect your face- with sunscreen and sunglasses

4. Spend time in the shade

5. Drink up- staying hydrated