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Shanna Whan, CEO and Founder of Sober In The Country (SITC) shares their ‘breakthrough year’

26 July 2021

2021 has been, the breakthrough year for SITC – thanks to those of you who have stood up alongside us. The Bush Tribe has grown to almost 400 members (see visual below) and is literally saving bush lives, daily – because it’s BY bush people and FOR bush people in a language they understand.


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Starting in January we visited the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education in Canberra to collaborate on pregnancy labelling on alcohol bottles and also met with the Centre for Rural and Remote Health. I shifted out of town and took the ‘’head office’’ back to the bush – to a gorgeous bush church in the middle of nowhere, which is where we base operations now. Then back up to QLD to visit the teeny tiny community of Yelarbon and the local Men’s Shed and Sporting Clubs. Then way out west to Cloncurry where SITC pioneered the first ever alcohol awareness inductions from a lived-experience perspective into station life with a group of 50 jillaroos, jackaroos, head stockmen and bushmen.

In March we landed in Alice Springs and presented at the Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association Ladies Long Lunch and conference, we’ve been invited back as keynote speakers next year. This is huge – given the roaring booze culture in the cattle sector and it led to an invitation to Mt Isa to  present at one of Australia’s biggest private cattle holdings, MDH.

Back to central QLD in April to present at a charity gala ball – where the impact was massive with SITC discussed as the ‘key highlight’ of the evening.

In May, we visited Victoria – met with some of our philanthropic investors, presented at a sellout industry event with Rethink Addiction and at another sellout event in the Mornington Peninsula.

June had us back in NSW presenting in the Hunter Valley to the trade and mining sector.

Sobriety is trending globally and nationally – and COVID and the subsequent response to a lift in federal and state funding to ensure ‘’nobody goes without support’’ proves what we’ve been saying for almost ten years; namely that overcoming addiction in isolation is impossible. Our workload increases daily and we’re now seeking how to continue and grow the charity.

Images above L to R: Shanna Whan, CEO + Founder of Sober In The Country, Cowboy is Hugh Dawson, SITC new  ambassador + NT’s Young Achiever of the Year in 2021, SITC Bush Tribe pin map shows the huge impact they are having across the country.