a grassroots rural initiative-turned-national charity from founder Shanna Whan is saving lives through the simple message ''it's OK to say no to a beer'' ...

news from our CEO, Shanna

Wow. It's been a walloping 12 months. My heartfelt thanks, gratitude and humility to those who have jumped into the trenches next to me in the past 12 months.  Especially to Tim, Flip, and those who have very generously donated. After 5 years of volunteering, I am ecstatic to see SITC is a ''we'' thing now we have official national charity status (this was announced the same week our Australian Story episode 'Last Drinks' went to air) and was seen by about 2 million people. Our social media channels are now going out to around 40,000 rural Aussies and our private rural professionals group is home to 6oo SITC ''family members'' who are either cutting out or cutting back on their own booze habits. And all because of nothing more than honest conversation, connection, and the creation of a community. In the latest news; I have been announced as a finalist in the 2020 Rex Airlines Regional Woman of the Year awards. I'll be in Sydney in March for this event along with an appearance at the Opera House for an International Women's Day gig called ''All About Women'' so that's going to be a busy month! It really has been a walk of blind faith for five years; so, to see this life-saving conversation that ''it's okay to say no to a beer'' going national and to see outdated stigmas being smashed daily is the most rewarding thing I've done in my life. We remain unfunded and unsupported by either state or federal government but we continue to work on this and to strive for collaboration. We are very excited about interest from corporate partners and philanthropic investors who are quickly realising the pivotal connection between this conversation and rural and regional sustainability for our people. So our faith remains firm and focused. We see the proof every single day of the total need for this charity and its purpose and we know the rest will come. I will be travelling all over Australia in 2020 with public speaking and touring, and am also thrilled that this long-held vision is also being validated. Thank you for being here. I am grateful - and our SITC 'family' Australia wide is grateful. This matters. xx 

* please feel free to check out my TEDx Canberra Ted Talk below. Although it's almost 2 years old it is tragically even more relevant now than it was back then actually - and will be long after the drought ''breaks.''