Who would have thought it would take an average, 25-year-old Aussie bloke to flag up the fact that we as Australians, quite possibly need to take a long hard look at our drinking?

A simple question that might leave the vast majority of us wanting to shoot back with a rather sheepish ‘no comment’, thanks mate!

You may never have heard of Chris Raine, yet, but he is the sort of young Australian that is moved by quotes from the likes of Robert (Bobby) Kennedy, who famously said “Some men see things and ask ‘why?’, I dream of things that never were, and say ‘why not?’”

When many others his age are more likely to be spruiking, Pitbull’s pearls of wisdom ‘excuse, I might drink a little more than I should do tonight.’

Hello Sunday Morning is a thought provoking health initiative that is the creation of this one young Australian, ‘whose ‘vision is to see that future generations of Australians grow up in a nation where drinking is an individual choice, not a cultural expectation.’

This is the legacy he would like to see with his program called Hello Sunday Morning.

Chris wants to share his program, to make it our program, by asking we, his fellow Aussies to consider taking 12 weeks off drinking in 2012, and then to blog about their sober journey, or attempt there of, on the site at www.hellosundaymorning.com.au

If we, and I say the majority of Australians, were really faced with the pressure of temporarily giving up drinking, what would your initial reaction be?

It’s a strange dilemma isn’t it?  It shouldn’t really take evoke so much trepidation or perceived negative consequence, when really what the result would be, quite simply, is all of us feeling physically better and no doubt mentally better as well.

So why is there so much panicked sifting that goes through many of our heads, when posed with what should be a very simple option?  Why does ‘getting off the grog’ have the same effect as posing a personal threat?

As a culture, our culture, getting pissed is basically seen as part of our Aussie mate ship ritual.  Cracking open a ‘tinnie’ or opening a bottle of ‘charddy’ is our sort of offering to the gods of good fun.

But if you think about it, we rarely, certainly at night, catch up in groups without alcohol coming along.

So if we were honest with ourselves, as this program is asking us to consider, is the alcohol mandatory to our friendships, or is it part of the choice, along with the venue?

If going out with your friends, and getting hassled for not drinking on the odd occasion, or even every occasion is met with anything like “don’t be stupid, why would you do that?” like not doing something is actually considered doing something and that doing something is supposedly a problem, an insult, then maybe that’s a problem?

How often have you heard someone joke, with all too much seriousness, that if a woman is seen not drinking and out socially then surely she must be pregnant.?

Is it a joke, or just a little snap shot of how extreme our alcohol culture has become that so many of us are on the wrong sort of ‘booze watch’.  Terrified someone will be alert enough to see us all too clearly when we’re under the influence.

It’s a bit like being a lifeguard, and then screaming ‘get out’ when there’s no sharks in sight.

How many of us have either seen our parents reasonably pissed, or been parents ourselves drinking heavily in front of our kids?  Is it really just part of life that we don’t consider whether this is the right way to behave?

There’s no two ways about it, Hello Sunday Morning is worth thinking about.  If going 12 weeks without drinking, is really that much of a problem, then maybe there really is a problem!



  1. Yes Australian’s do have a drinking problem always have and always will because you have to Drink to be Australian (crap) .I am 53yo never had a drink in my life it has not even touched my lips, i was in the Army for 6 years and was picked on a lot of that time because of that.And i think people treat you different because you don’t drink but i don’t care it is what it is

    • Wow that’s so unique to have never had a drink ever. I honestly don’t think you’re missing much. It must be a real eye opener seeing the behaviour of drunk people. There’s really no such thing as a good drunk. Thanks for your comment. Merry Xmas

  2. Thanks for sharing this Amber – hadn’t heard of ‘Hello Sunday Morning’ before now. Awesome idea.

    Unlike Shane, i’ve certainly done my time drinking altho have been almost 5 years without a drop now. so i can comment from BOTH sides of the fence. and for me, it’s like the film ‘the matrix’ – once you stop for long enough, you see alcohol culture through VERY different eyes… and it’s not very pretty!

    what i’ve come to realise is the reason it’s so difficult to give up the booze is many people start drinking in their teens and have never actually learned to build the emotional muscles it takes to be brave, fun, social, deal with bad times etc WITHOUT alcohol. so when you DO try and give up or even cut back later in life, it’s incredibly difficult because you have to learn how to be a whole person without it, possibly for the first time ever as an adult.

    it took me a LONG time. not an easy journey, but definitely worthwhile. and as fun as having a few (or even a few too many) drinks can be, i can now say with confidence, life is WAY better without it!

    (Although like Shane, i also STILL get a hard time!)

    Keep up the good work!

    • thank you for this great comment, I totally agree. I was sitting there the other day and trying to work out all the things that I was trying to fit in over the weekend, and I realised that my dilemma was not fitting them all in but my anticipation that if I was drinking on one of the nights, then I was no doubt going to lose hours on the Saturday and no doubt would not enjoy the other things I had planned as much because I would be exhausted….and I suddenly thought “I’ve had enough of this crap, why do I continue to think that having a few drinks is fun when clearly I’m already knowing that it is going to impact my enjoyment on so many other things? How can it be worth it?” So I decided to drive on both nights to my functions, had a great night, no hangovers, not half as tired and far less stress. So, I want to keep this ‘better late than never’ good sense because quite frankly, I’ve wasted enough time letting drinking get in the way of actual fun. it’s just a boring cycle….and 2012 is not about boring cycles, it’s about wonderful NEW cycles. So cheers (non booze version) to that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for writing.xxx

  3. i would say some people think the only way you can have a good time is to get drunk. Others just ignore the warning signs and continue drinking and deal with the consequences next day which normally isn’t always the best thing but funny sometimes for all that didnt get drunk seeing how terrible and crook they may feel. It’s still easy to have fun with enjoyabe company without drinking or getting drunk

    I might as well be counted as non drinker even though i will drink only small amounts at pub mainly because soft drink isnt that great either. Amazing how people think, wow you don’t drink beer and your from the country 🙂 lol But i wouldn’t want to risk my licence since i enjoy driving a lot and it allows me to get to all sorts of places too enjoy 🙂

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