Manifesto

{ Manifesto (noun) - a public declaration of beliefs or aims. }
Laptop On Tray

Life without booze is actually amazing.

We've been conditioned to think life without alcohol is somehow 'less than' or a loss. We know the opposite to be true - and we are daily witnesses to endless stories around bush lives being saved and changed, while families are restored, and health and relationships are repaired. We believe in JOMO (aka, the joy of 'missing out' on grog...)


You do you when it comes to sober choices & labels.

SITC doesn't subscribe to fixed labels or a ''one-size-for-all'' when it comes to alcohol addiction, abuse or misuse or indeed recovery. How you navigate your sobriety is your story, and your choice. And, whether you resonate with terms such as; 'having a poor relationship with alcohol' - or you identify as an alcoholic, a GAD (grey area drinker), sober-curious or as a recovered or recovering alcoholic - we aren't here to tell you what is right or wrong there, either. We're here to encourage you to investigate and build your own toolkit with what works for and resonates with you.  

Our life is ''permanent ISO'' ...

The pandemic showed the rest of Australia a tiny glimpse of what rural and remote Australians deal with on a daily basis in terms of not just geographic but social isolation.  While harm from addiction is the same no matter who you are or where you live - the barriers and challenges facing those in rural and remote Australia are an entirely different set of circumstances our city / coastal cousins face. 

Anonymity and city-centric models are ineffective out here.

Something anyone rural or remote knows, inherently, is that ''being anonymous'' in a tiny bush community isn't an option. Which is why century-old models based on city-centric notions and face-to-face support groups are largely ineffective, unattended, and dying out. It's not that peer meetings are not effective, it's that rural people will not walk into a room to attend a meeting they know is publicly discussed. That's why, many years ago, SITC transitioned peer-to-peer support online for rural and remote people, through our Bush Tribe. (Side note: within a fortnight of the pandemic, even the most staunch traditionalists who said they would never meet online, transitioned online, once they realised the enormity of overcoming addiction in isolation.)

 

Going upstream is more effective than waiting for the crisis.

Our hope is to catch bush mates long before they drown. And given we know it takes someone (on average) 18 years to seek help for their addiction - we know going upstream is paramount. We don't believe that rock bottom is a requirement to cut back or quit booze. We speak freely about the truth that alcohol isn't just a ''problem'' for those in addiction (as society tends to believe) but is in fact a far wider societal issue, especially in the bush where grog is our social lubricant and a vector for terrible harm. We strive to drive honest, non-judgemental conversations - from a lived experienced perspective - to help drive social change.

We reckon rural people need to support mates in recovery.

We are asking communities to not 'mandate' anonymity but to rather support those who are opting to choose a sober lifestyle and to encourage and support that choice instead of question it. We're asking that our communities throw their weight behind friends opting to go alcohol-free and who are fighting addiction, in the same way they'd support a mate with depression, cancer, or a broken leg. Through a collective community approach, recovery is less overwhelming and when stigma is removed - those struggling are more likely to reach out for support.

You can thrive when you are in your tribe.

Following the mob is easy. Choosing to go a different way is a great deal more challenging. But if booze isn't doing any good in your life - you probably need to make a change. Our Bush Tribe (online peer-to-peer support family) is here to make that concept and that process less overwhelming. We believe we're stronger, together. And we believe that healing happens in community - not in isolation. 

Taking a staunch prohibitionist stance isn't effective for us.


SITC doesn't advocate for change from a staunch prohibitionist stance. We have spent many years walking the tightrope of opening up discussions around booze in the bush in ways that haven't previously been successfully done - and we think that's simply because we advocate from a place that aims for balance and truth while not ever alienating or ever judging our mates who have a beer or two. Are we anti-alcohol-harm, though? Absolutely. We see the truth and devastation from addiction daily. And so, we strive to keep learning and keep refining our message and work and walking that tightrope.

We operate from a collaborative position, always.

SITC has been working hard for many years towards creating massive social change not because we have all the answers - but because we just speak and seek truth, as a collective. We live here, and we've lived the road of learning to walk again and rebuild our lives - sober in the country - and we have a history of life in the bush. But our game-plan has always been to collaborate with like-minded individuals who we feel aligned with. We believe that collectively, massive change is possible.

Truth over trends.

We don't follow trends, and we don't chase 'likes' or numbers or go after what's easy and popular ... we believe it's vital to get in the paddock and do the hard work, because it needs doing.