We’re rural and remote Australia’s lived-experience experts and advocates

At Sober in the Country, we’re advocating nationally for change and creating daily social impact by calling on more than a decade of lived experience. We are widely called upon as rural and remote Australia’s trusted lived experience experts and advocates.

We also share true stories of how recovery changed lives for the better as inspiration for rural Aussies seeking to change their relationship with alcohol.

We are regularly called on as lived-experience experts in the Alcohol and Drug (AOD) space and as representatives for rural Australians. Sober in the Country has collaborated with some of Australia’s national AOD leaders – including FARE Australia, AOD Foundation, SMART Recovery Australia, Alcoholics Anonymous, Clean Slate Clinic, the Department of Home Affairs and more. We’re lending our support and expertise to these key organisations to help close the gaps, bringing more critical support services – like online bush Telehealth detox and supported, structured recovery programs – to our rural and remote mates.

It's important that newcomers to Sober in the Country understand that we aren't a program or a counselling service provider, but you can find those we recommend here.

We help you know it’s #OK2SAYNO to booze

At Sober in the Country, we aren’t anti-alcohol, we’re anti-alcohol harm … and, most of all, we’re all about mates helping mates.

We drive friendly conversations that everyone can participate in and learn from. This is how we've encouraged leaders across the rural and agricultural sectors to step up alongside us and include the #OK2SAYNO message in their workplaces and on farms across Australia. 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.

Our Bush Tribe means you’re not alone

We believe we’re stronger, together and that healing happens in community, not in isolation.

Our Bush Tribe online peer support group – a community of remote and rural members from all around Australia – is a safe, anonymous, non-judgemental space that offers connection and support for rural Australians, linking people ready to cut back or quit alcohol to each other and to key resources and services.

Our website connects you to resources and recommends clinical support services

At Sober in the Country, we’ve got zero interest in telling people what to do. As Shanna says, our job is to shine a light for others to see that a way out of the dark is possible, if that’s their choice.
While we aren’t a service provider, we are in your corner, cheering for you and sharing links to resources and trusted services that can help – from free phone and text counselling to recovery programs and more. We know that everyone’s journey is different and that contemplating a life of being sober in the country is pretty overwhelming if your entire life has been built around socialising and doing business with booze. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach, but, along with not going it alone, we also recommend some structured clinical support. So, along with our Bush Tribe online peer support group, our website connects you to a range of information and encouragement, resources, self-assessment tests, and links to external support services.

The Bush Tribe is for rural and isolated people. We have different challenges in our conquest to become sober. Our environment being a big one. This is where the Bush Tribe makes a difference. It gave me the confidence to pursue other resources, while feeling accountable to the Triber mates I had made. I was not alone. I have in turn been able to give my experience. Just maybe helping someone else.

Anonymous Bush Tribe member

We have a huge and growing social impact and reach

Our messaging is resonating with people all around Australia. We’ve built an organic social media reach of up to 1 million views – with an average of 80,000 views per post) plus our radio, TV and podcast episodes have had millions of views/plays.

We’re capturing and sharing inspirational-yet-relatable stories of hope as videos of real rural Australians via The Amplification Project. And our founder, Shanna, has been a spokesperson at events all around Australia and on radio and television programs (including Australian Story’s episode “Last Drinks’’ that sums up her personal story and how Sober in the Country began).

Shanna drives friendly, upfront conversations about the truth of alcohol harm in the bush. She was the recipient of the Local Hero award at the 2022 Australian of the Year awards. And while Shanna no longer runs the charity single-handedly, she is the beloved face of our organisation and the reason we are now recognised – wherever we travel – as the trusted voice for rural Australia in this complex space.

I first heard about Sober in the Country while watching the 2022 Australia Day awards. Shan’s words, story and emotion were like a lightning bolt. I suddenly realised “I’m not alone, there’s others like me”. The Bush Tribe is such an amazing space, safe, inclusive, supporting, inspirational and at times confronting. Being part of the tribe has given me the strength to fight my own fight and not feel ashamed and alone.

Anonymous Bush Tribe member