This week we spoke to the philanthropic powerhouse behind Call Time on Melanoma, a not-for-profit initiative for (sun) smart women, Lisa Patulny. Lisa, was recently nominated for a Contiki change maker 35 under 35 award and just last week was awarded a Healthy Skin Award by the prestigious Skin & Cancer Foundation for her incredible work on skin cancer awareness. Lisa (along with her close friend CTOM ambassador and melanoma survivor Natalie Fornasier) is blowing the whistle on melanoma mythology. Through CTOM, Lisa's ultimate mission is to eradicate melanoma—a mostly preventable disease that claims the lives of more young people in this country than any other cancer. Her aim is to create awareness about this preventable disease in honour of every young Australian who has had a life cut short and their families and friends who have to deal with the pain of a loss that never goes away. She is an ex-beauty editor, a wife, mother, business women and beautiful inside and out. We met Lisa back when she was working in beauty, so we took the time to chat to her about bags, beauty, babies and of course philanthropy. We hope you enjoy this In Her Bag interview as much as we did.

What's in your bag?

So. Many. Things! I regularly rid my bag of receipts and miscellaneous junk to keep it tidy, but I do lug a fair bit of stuff around. I keep a pouch inside my bag to protect the lining and in that I’ve always got a pen, my cards, concealer, lipstick, brow gel, sunscreen and approximately 73 lip balms, plus tampons and hay fever medication. (Chic.) Oh, and headphones. Always headphones.

You’ve been editing, writing, living and breathing beauty for years now so I would love to hear your number 1 beauty tip! (Although, I BET I can guess it! Wear sunscreen?!)

Wearing sunscreen is the best thing you can do for your skin, hands down. It helps to protect against DNA damage caused by UV rays which is what puts you at increased risk of developing skin cancers. UV rays also cause premature ageing if that’s something you care about. PS. Remember to reapply!

And your three desert island beauty products? (I can probably guess this too!)

OBVIOUSLY I’m going to say sunscreen—SPF50 or bust. I love many but right now I’m into Ultra Violette’s Supreme Screen SPF 50+ for face and Mecca’s To Save Body SPF50 Superscreen for everywhere else. I am really enjoying Mecca’s Weekend Skin too—it’s got just enough tint so that you feel a teeny bit polished. And then I’d choose Glossier’s Boy Brow because I’ve become pretty fixated on how fresh and youthful my brows look when I’ve brushed them up.


Lisa is a fan of Ultra Violette's Supreme Screen.

You can read our interview with Ultra Violette founders Bec and Ava here

After nearly a decade of working in magazines you left the comfort and security of your senior editor role at Allure Media to embark on a special new project Call Time on Melanoma. Can you tell us a bit about CTOM and how this journey began?

My friend Natalie Fornasier was diagnosed with advanced melanoma last year at the age of 24. (It was her second diagnosis, having been first diagnosed with melanoma at just 20.) Hearing about what she was going through, coupled with my shock at discovering that melanoma is the #1 cancer in young Australians, prompted me to create CTOM. It was intended as a place for Natalie to share her story to inspire others, but has grown to be and represent so much more than that. Together, we’re on a mission to save young lives.


Call Time on Melanoma is blowing the whistle on the misconceptions around tanning and sun safe skin. 

What has been the biggest challenge of the project so far and what has this challenge taught you?

There have been many challenges, but perhaps the hardest thing has been finding the time to do it all. I like everything to be done yesterday



Call Time on Melanoma as featured on

You were recently nominated for Contiki’s 35 under 35 Changemakers of 2019. This nomination essentially meant CTOM was given global recognition for the incredible and vitally important work you are doing with this project. Knowing how humble you are, I’m sure you never suspected this project you started would get this kind of global recognition so early on - if at all. Now that it has, has this opened your eyes up to the potential reach CTOM could have and the potential positive change it could bring? And with this new perspective what are you plans for CTOM for the next 5 years?

I saw the potential as soon as we launched but that nomination did catch me be surprise. It is amazing to see other likeminded people and brands support us. Our plans for the next 5 years are a work in progress but for now I’ll say this—we have two very meaningful partnerships coming up for summer 2020.


Call Time on Melanoma as featured on

Can you give any advice for young women who have a philanthropic fire in their hearts, but are not sure what to do about it?

Go for it. The world needs more women who lead with heart and courage.


Call Time on Melanoma as featured on

Whether you’re writing for online magazines or running an charitable organisation with a strong online presence there’s a great deal of pressure to be consistently online (whether that’s writing, producing content or replying to followers) as online never ‘stops’. What is your top strategy for switching off, managing stress and maintaining positive mental health?

I try to take digital-free days every month to counterbalance the many hours I spend online. Sometimes I will leave my phone at home and force myself to a Pilates class or even to a local café for an hour with no phone to give myself space to think. I am most creative when I’ve had a digital detox so I do what I can. I’ve recently returned to reading non-digital books for this reason.


Call Time on Melanoma as featured on

You recently had your first child, a beautiful boy Elvis who is going to be an absolute heartbreaker. So between your CTOM responsibilities and your other 752 roles as Mother, Wife, Brand Manager, Writer, Stylist, Beauty Expert and Freelance Consultant, you are now officially wearing more hats than I care to count! What are your top tips for time management and getting everything done?

Can I be honest? I don’t have many. Adapt to living on little sleep? Lol. Outsource and automate what you can, and get comfortable with dropping balls. Because it’s going to happen. The perfectionist in me struggles with not being able to be everything to everyone all the time, so I do my best to schedule in time for work, self, family and pals.

If you could go back to Lisa at say 81 or 21 and give her one piece of advice, what would it be?

Remember who you are. Don’t allow anyone else to convince you that you can’t or to tell you your worth. (Also, pls stop waxing your eyebrows into oblivion.)


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