media | content kit

Due to the incredibly complex nature of our work, and how hard we have strived for a decade to start these conversations with balance and integrity - SITC is happy to work with media (social media or news outlets) on the proviso that we have the opportunity to read-through or proof press, before publication.

BASICS:

Correct summary of the Sober in the Country charity: 

SITC is a grassroots not-for-profit leading radical social impact across rural Australia by changing the narrative around booze through tailored peer support, straight talk, advocacy, and the #OK2SAYNO movement.

 

Or, an introduction for Shanna + short BIO:

Shanna Whan is the rural woman, CEO, creator and founder behind nationally respected grassroots charity Sober in the Country Ltd. She was recently announced as the 2022 ''Australian of the Year'' Local Hero winner for her relentless leadership and community service. In 2015 Shan almost lost her life to a twenty-five year battle with alcohol addiction. But she made it out alive, with the help of her husband Tim, despite the enormous barriers and odds. The couple decided to dedicate this second chance to 'be the change' that was so desperately needed in the booze-worshipping culture synonymous with the outback.  Far from being anti-alcohol; the charity focuses on social inclusion, and putting mates before alcohol.

Please note if you are interviewing Shanna, the correct pronunciation is: 

Shanna-like-Anna | Whan-like-Swan

(if you're struggling please just feel free to say ''Shan'')

READ OUR CORE MESSAGING HERE.

LEARN ABOUT OUR BUSH TRIBE HERE.

WATCH PREVIOUS TV AND MEDIA HERE.

OUR KEY MESSAGES:

  • rural | remote Australians are 150% more likely to experience alcohol harm, and only 17% will get help (SOURCE: Australian Drug Foundation.)

  • we are not anti-alcohol or prohibitionist in our approach, nor rigid or fixed in our language and we find that sharing, and telling our own stories is far more impactful than ''telling'' others what to do. This is why our #OK2SAYNO campaign is so powerful and effective because it's about supporting mates.

  • ''ISO'' is our normal - yet there is little recognition of this truth, and little equality in services or support for this specific area: eg: in our SITC survey of 900 rural men and women (wanting to cut back or quit alcohol altogether) we learned that every respondent shared the same concerns around social exclusion, and, horrifyingly - that not one single person who actively sought support for alcohol use, abuse, or addiction - could access safe, confidential, or timely local services.

  • SITC has both anecdotal evidence & data that confirms alcohol abuse / misuse / addiction is a common binding thread across adversity for rural & remote people; from mental health to suicide to physical health, farm safety, and other key issues that are readily addressed. 

  • we believe in going 'upstream' and catching people before they drown. This is working powerfully through SITC's peer group, The Bush Tribe, which is connecting this overlooked demographic and proving a literal lifeline and a safe space and beautiful online community for many and preventing harm | crisis

  • rural Australians are stepping up to acknowledge it's time to change the conversation around alcohol, and SITC is providing the leadership, language, information and education to make that possible

  • leading rural organisations and employers are now endorsing SITC's simple messaging in their workplaces in the same way we now include OH&S, safety in the workplace, and other non-negotiable standards

A timeline of events and how SITC came about:

  • 2015 - Shanna fell down a flight of stairs and decided enough was enough

  • she reached out for help one last time and connected with a recovered alcoholic

  • that connection was a life line (and would become the basis of SITC many years later)

  • it was then that Shanna realised one day she would dedicate her life to helping others

  • her first move was to give up her work and travel & spent a year in self-imposed isolation

  • her entire focus was on studying sobriety and avoiding alcohol while she healed

  • she spent 2016-2017 trying to support others locally

  • this included running a local recovery meeting

  • nobody came, and it didn't work - so eventually she closed the meeting down

  • she then studied and graduated as a health coach

  • Shan quickly realised one-on-one intensity was too much for her mental health

  • after trying and failing to do what everyone said was best, she listened to her gut

  • in 2017 she began publicly writing about her recovery - acknowledging it was early days

  • by 2018 the stories had gone national across the bush

  • in 2019 ABC aired Shanna's story in an episode called ''Last Drinks''

  • in the same year, Sober in the Country Ltd was granted national charitable status

  • in 2020 Shanna was booked up for months to travel and speak

  • the pandemic hit, and she was back to ground zero and back to no income

  • she'd now had no income for five years

  • two philanthropists had been watching on

  • they stepped in to help with seed funding

  • Shan spent the entire pandemic building systems, and putting down roots

  • the movement grew exponentially as people realised what permanent ISO was

  • in 2022 she was awarded Australian of the Year ''Local Hero'' for her efforts

A selection of example images are below.