Community and Lifestyle

Pastoral companies back positive alcohol awareness initiative

Guest Author, 24/09/2021

LEADING Australian pastoral companies have given a ringing endorsement to grassroots bush charity, Sober in the Country (SITC) as it announces a new initiative under its #OK2SAYNO campaign.

Among those supporting the charity’s new project via sponsorship are: Paraway Pastoral Company Limited, Australian Agricultural Company, CPC – Consolidated Pastoral Company, NAPCO – The North Australian Pastoral Company, Jumbuck Pastoral, Glencore, Australian Country Choice, Hewitt Cattle Australia, McDonald Holdings, and others.

SITC leads conversations around booze in the bush and is educating multitudes on how simply supporting and including their mates choosing to cut back (or quit) drinking can, and is, changing and saving lives.

While COVID-19 has cancelled events for the second time in as many years; with isolation a core driver behind SITC’s creation – founder Shanna Whan said these challenges reiterated the essential nature of their messaging.

“We’re excited to be launching a new podcast, ‘One for the Road’ in October,” Ms Whan said.

“There’s a growing groundswell of support for SITC which has been successfully challenging the outdated bush vernacular of ‘you can’t trust a bloke who doesn’t drink’ and teaching a better type of conversation since 2015. We’ve already secured a diverse cross-section of guests including people sharing their own experiences overcoming a battle with booze, those who have vastly improved their life by cutting back, health professionals, celebrities and industry giants who agree it’s time to create change.”

When Pastoral Company CEO, Harvey Gaynor, was approached to back the initiative this month, he went one better and reached out to a dozen of the north’s best leading pastoral companies who instantly agreed to step up.

‘’It’s a testimony to Shanna’s relentless hard work and what she’s been doing for the agricultural sector,’’ Mr Gaynor said.

Hugh Killen, CEO from Australian Agricultural Company, agreed. ‘’We really want to get this conversation onto our stations – and it’s terrific that SITC has found a way to deliver,” and McDonald Holdings’ Julie McDonald said it was a ‘no brainer’ for their business to support SITC.

Shanna said SITC was not anti-alcohol or prohibitionist, but rather all about supporting those who choose to say no. “Alcohol remains one of our biggest unspoken-of rural safety and health challenges, and it is tragically the common link to almost all rural health issues.” she said. “Awareness and support is overdue and necessary. The positive response from industry leaders is validation of this.

“Our simple message is helping change and save lives across rural and remote Australia. And as someone who almost died from alcohol addiction, it is honestly the greatest privilege of my life to be able to carry this work and message.”

Source: Sober in the Country – for more information click here to visit the Sober in the Country website

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