... meet SITC's founding volunteer and now
CEO Shanna Whan
Shan is a rural woman from north western NSW where she lives, sometimes, with her husband Tim and Fleabag the blue heeler.
In 2014 she was working as a full-time freelance rural photographer & journalist by day and trapped in an horrific and invisible fight for her life against alcohol addiction by night. All the while she was preparing herself not to make it. Her life had become unmanageable, out-of-control, and she was desperately sick.
She was fortunate enough to have a miracle and to go on and work hard to make a full recovery, partly thanks to her own willingness, brutal honesty - and partly thanks to a life saving conversation and connection with somebody else who'd been there. Somebody she simply identified with.
After having to rebuild her own life from ground zero and learning how to be sober in the country with next to no support other than her best mates Tim, Fleabag the blue heeler and her long-distance sobriety support person: she risked it all over again (two years into recovery) to be part of changing a system that was ineffective for people like her in isolated areas. She set about to research and investigate the depth of inadequate services, support, and even confidential options for rural professionals seeking help.
Fast forward five years on this remarkable outback woman is what they call a ''recovered alcoholic'' leading a conversation that's literally changing the face of the internationally infamous casual-alcoholism-culture of the outback - and all through honest, grassroots yarns.
If you're interested in reading a snippet of the book Shanna is working on
and to better understand the backstory, a chapter is attached here.
Shanna credits her life to her husband, her miracle, her blue heeler, and a support network and incredible crew of family. Meet them, below. Click on the images for captions.