The data of the Australian Paediatric Cancer Registry on childhood cancer incidence in Australia for the 10-year period 1982-1991 are presented. The crude average annual incidence of cancer in children under the age of 15 years was 13.8 per 100,000. The incidence of childhood cancer in Australia is rising. Significant increases were seen in acute non-lymphoblastic leukaemia, astrocytoma and melanoma. The age-standardised incidence of 14.4 per 100,000 is about 34% higher than in the UK. Most types of cancer had a higher incidence in Australia than in the UK, and the difference was significant for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, astrocytoma and melanoma. Of particular interest is malignant melanoma, whose incidence in Australia is more than 5 times that in the UK, as a result of excessive UV exposure. Australia has a higher incidence of Ewing's tumour than osteosarcoma, nearly twice that of the UK. International comparative studies may help to elucidate the aetiology of these tumours.