Australia's Local Hero for 2022 is Shanna Whan. She founded "Sober in the Country" which helps people in country Australia deal with alcohol and its problems.
The award winner almost died of addiction seven years ago when she lay unconscious, bruised and bleeding, at the bottom of stairs at home and then found herself in hospital.
The incident was the start of the turn-around, and of the journey to this Australia Day award for someone who is now a recovered alcoholic.
Ms Whan said alcohol abuse was a "silent pandemic".
"And it's a pandemic that is exploding exponentially with COVID-19. No matter your postcode," she said.
"Rural people are 150 per cent more likely to suffer from alcohol harm, and only 17 per cent of us will get the help we need.
"We persist in treating this common problem like a dirty little sacred, rather than the real visible health crisis it is."
Ms Whan said there weren't enough mental health services for rural people.
"They get up, and they show up in fire and floods and droughts and plagues and pandemics and they put food on the nation's table. So the least we can do as a nation is make sure that they're getting support when they look for it," she said.
Ms Whan wasn't a conventional picture of an alcoholic. She once described how she was a successful businesswoman by day but a virtual derelict at home by night - all before she won the struggle against the demon, dried out and gave up the bottle.
"As someone who was active, ran a business, only drank after 5pm, I was offended by the mere suggestion I might have a problem," she said.
"In early 2015, with the endless encouragement, faith and support of my husband, we rebuilt our lives, together, from ground zero.
She had realised how pervasive the problem was.
"You've only got to live in the bush for five minutes to know the prolific impact it has in all of our communities," she said when she was nominated for the award.
Her philosophy now is not to lecture others but to help them learn how to rescue themselves, and to get their friends and family to rally round.
She wants to change the idea that turning down a drink is somehow unfriendly or unmanly.
"It's OK to say 'No' to booze" is a mantra she has used.
"We're asking mates to step up and be better mates and support their friends who choose not to drink."
She hoped the Local Hero award would push the problem of alcohol addiction in rural areas up the political agenda.
It was time, she felt, for politicians who claimed they were all for rural people and rural health to prove their commitment by taking action.
"There is nothing that is tailored, that is timely and accessible," she said.
She thought alcohol abuse was behind many other problems in rural Australia.
"Alcohol abuse and misuse is literally at the heart and soul of almost every single issue in terms of health in rural people," she said.
When she was nominated, the citation said that "Shanna Whan was single-handedly creating radical social impact and change around how we discuss and use alcohol in rural Australia".
In naming the winners of the Australia Day awards, the head of the National Australia Day Council, Danielle Roche, congratulated the recipients.
"Shanna is an inspiring and tireless local hero who not only overcame her own life-threatening challenges, but turned the experience into a force for good.
"Her 'Sober in the Country' movement is changing lives across remote and rural Australia."
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