Shanna Whan is a rural woman and in her own words a ''very unlikely'' national spokesperson for change when it comes to the complex subject of our great love affair with booze in the bush.
The founder behind now nationally recognised brand and not-for-profit Sober in the Country Ltd (SITC) created the 'OK2SAYNO' campaign to ensure we are putting our mates and their health first. Far from being an anti-alcohol message; SITC is simply focused on advocacy, awareness, and ensuring those who choose to say 'no thanks' or 'not today' (no matter their reason) are supported fully.
After almost losing her own life to alcohol addiction in 2015 and spending seven years of working tirelessly to support others she is now regularly referred to as a pioneer who cracked the lid on this yarn in the remote sector of Australia.
Shan is not someone you'll ever find accepting labels like 'influencer,' or 'guru' spoken over her, though. She stands extremely firm on insisting she's just one of (too) many in the bush fighting a battle - sometimes for survival - without help, education, information, or even any appropriate support.
So she said she simply decided to make it her life's work to change that. These days she is using her national media profile to boldly fight for us on a national level and to challenge our leaders to open their eyes, look west, and to see that for remote Australians, ''ISO'' is our reality.
Her philosophy - and now national not-for-profit organisation Sober in the Country (SITC's) charity philosophy is deeply rooted in the famous Desmond Tutu quote that - ''there comes a time when we need to stop pulling people out of the river when they've already drowned - and go upstream and find out why they're falling in.''
Shanna has been officially recognised as a nominee / finalist in many awards including twice-nominated for Australian of the Year in the local hero category, and recently was a winner in ProBono Australia's Top 25 Impact awards.
Other awards include:
> Winner of ProBono Australia's ''Top 25'' Impact awards - 2021
> Nominee for Australian of the Year (Local Hero) in 2020 + 2021
> Regional Woman of the Year (Finalist) 2020
> SHINE Volunteer of the Year Finalist (2018)
> AgriFutures Rural Woman of the Year Finalist (2017)