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Shanna Whan on why it's #ok2sayno to alcohol

What to listen for

Shanna Whan is the rural woman, founder, CEO, and face behind Sober in the Country (SITC). She's an Australian of the Year recipient who decided to “do what she could to be part of the change” after almost losing her life to alcohol addiction in 2015.


In this episode, Pia sits down with Shanna to unpack her journey to maintained recovery, and learn about what it’s like to change your relationship with alcohol when you live in rural Australia.


You’ll also hear from Dr Chris Davis, Co-Founder & Chief Medical Officer at Clean Slate Clinic, for his clinical insights.

Key takeaways

  • The role of alcohol in 'Aussie' culture: Shanna believes that rural Australia is the last frontier to evolve in the sobriety space, largely due to the indoctrination of 'grog' as being core to Australian culture. Shanna reflects on her past experience of proudly displaying her drinking habits as a 'badge of honour,' a sentiment shared by her community.

  • Recovery challenges in rural Australia: Changing your relationship with alcohol in a rural community can be particularly challenging due to the lack of treatment options, geographical isolation and the stigma associated with sobriety.

  • Shanna's mission: Sober In The Country's #ok2sayno campaign focuses on promoting acceptance and support for those who choose not to drink, aiming to normalise alternative choices in rural communities by connecting peers to each other and to further support. 

  • Connection is crucial to recovery: Connection and support are key components to recovery, and online communities like Sober In The Country's Bush Tribe provide a safe space for individuals to share their stories and seek help.

  • When to seek support: Seeking help doesn't require a crisis and taking the first step can be as simple as connecting with an online community. 

Learn more

To learn more about Sober In The Country - head to their ⁠Website⁠, ⁠Instagram⁠ or ⁠Linkedin⁠.

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A reminder

Clean Slate Clinic is a regulated health service, but the Clean Slate podcast is an educational resource and not a substitute for professional health advice, treatment or assessment. If you are struggling with any of the issues raised in this podcast, please see a healthcare professional or call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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