This week, for Dry July, we delve into last year’s Mindful Drinking Festival archives to hear the fantastic conversation between Australian charity CEOs and sobriety experts Andy Moore and Shanna Whan as they discuss the problems Australians face when thinking about changing their drinking. From having personal experiences with alcohol that changed their lives to Andy becoming the CEO of Hello Sunday Morning and Shanna setting up Sober in the Country, their frank, informal discussion covers the rural and urban challenges both organisations help to address when helping people to change their drinking.
Who is Shanna Whan?
Shanna is the founder and CEO of Sober in the Country, a registered charity encouraging Australians to open up and talk about drinking culture and addiction recovery, especially in rural areas of Australia. Shanna describes herself as a recovered alcoholic, recognising her journey is still ongoing but she no longer needs alcohol in her life.
‘I have a story of addiction’, says Shanna, ‘and so I decided to be the change and, to summarise it, our mission and our focus as the charity Sober in the Country is to teach Ozzy mates in the bush that it’s okay to say no to a beer’.
Who is Andy Moore?
Andy is the Chief Executive of Hello Sunday Morning, a New South Wales-based charitable organisation that helps people to change their drinking habits, whether that’s cutting down or stopping altogether. He is also one of the founders of the Daybreak App, a free app for Australians who choose the peer support platform to help change their drinking. Andy has personal experience in cutting down his alcohol consumption for his mental and physical health, and that’s helped shape his passion for the work that he does with Hello Sunday Morning.
‘In terms of our own charities, we’re trying to provide that support and that safe place, that kind of non-judgmental space where people can talk about not drinking in a place where there’s no stigma and there’s no judgment.’
Why this conversation is relevant for Dry July
These charities offer a great deal of support for people in both rural and urban areas all year round. If you’re an Australian resident and you’re thinking of engaging with Dry July, then these are both excellent resources for helping you determine why you’re taking a break and brilliant support systems if you’d like to explore changing your drinking beyond Dry July. Hello Sunday Morning was created by businessman Chris Raine who decided to take a break from drinking himself and began blogging about it, signing off his hangover-free Sunday posts with ‘Hello, Sunday morning’. Now, the health service aims to change the world’s relationship with alcohol one Sunday morning at a time.
Both charities have a strong online presence; Shanna is particularly present on social media, with her Instagram channel for Sober In The Country (or SITC) inspiring people living in rural areas all over the world. For both movements, the goal isn’t about when you drink, when you stop drinking, or even how much you drink – the shared, complementary goal of these geographically different organisations is to hold a space for those who want to explore changing their drinking in a supported way.
We don’t demonise our mates who love a drink. We don’t care about that. We’re just so keen on making massive steps in supporting our mates who can’t and just including them socially.
Other #dryjuly resources from Club Soda
If you’re looking for drink alternatives to help you through Dry July and beyond, why not take a look at our monthly subscription boxes? Here’s what our July subscription box, created in conjunction with Wise Bartender, looks like.
Club Soda’s courses about mindful drinking teach you the skills you need to moderate your drinking – sign up today!