Sober in the Country is a conversation-turned national charity created and founded by rural woman and recovered alcoholic Shanna Whan who (with the support and encouragement of her husband Tim) rebuilt her life from Ground Zero and then decided to risk everything in 2015 by going public in the bush with a no-holds-barred account of her descent into alcoholism to help others. Today, some 15,000 hours of volunteering later, that vision is being realised and SITC is creating social impact and change across the entire rural landscape of Australia through advocacy, simple peer connection, and the inclusive mission of making it ''OK2SAYNO''. In late 2019 after Tim and Shanna's story went national thanks to Australian Story - SITC was granted national charitable status. In 2020, thanks to the support of our pro-bono accountant, lawyer, support team, and philanthropic investors The Snow Foundation, The Yulgilbar Foundation (and our many rural donors) this little grassroots charity is defying the odds and leading the charge nationally for rural peers in this space, and is in planning for the decade ahead. Our team of 4 directors (below) is set to increase in the coming 18 months as we search for others to join and help us expand.
Shanna Whan is the creator, founder and CEO of this national charity. She's known across Australia for her very authentic and raw brand of conversations and truth-sharing about booze in the bush. As a recovered alcoholic herself, she now fights and advocates for others just like her all over rural Australia. This charity is her life's work. Her voice is the SITC voice and she aims for simply bringing hope to the many who need it.
We call Tim Whan the 'foundation of the founder' because it was through this one good man and his faith (in Shanna that she was able to rebuild her life and go on to help an army of others. Tim is a true gentleman, and one of life's unsung heroes. He's the owner of his own rural business Rain Agribusiness. He's also the best Uncle in Australia, so we get told!
Ops Manager &
Flip is Shanna's wing-woman, our systems genie, our operations manager and an absolute SAINT who has helped to refine the entire basis of SITC's background operating platforms - and she's done this entirely as a volunteer. Flip is from southern NSW and she's an ex-women's country rugby player with a fierce team spirit and dedication to helping others.
Matty Tonkin is a Goondiwindi (Queensland) lad, Dad, avid golfer, lover of this wide brown land, and a sober bloke who's newly on board to share his wisdom, friendship and mutual passion for 'sustainable people' in agriculture with our core group of Shan, Tim, and Filp. Matty is a legend and we love him dearly an we're so happy to have his guidance and support.