Longstanding independent country musician Gemma Kirby has been in the media this week discussing Ocsober – an annual campaign that encourages us to remain alcohol-free for the entirety of October.
She contributed an op-ed to the website Lifestyle News and detailed just how ingrained alcohol is within the entertainment industry. In addition to what she’s already written, Kirby told Countrytown, “Being sober has made me a better mother, music artist and person.”
In Kirby’s case, sobriety is about setting a good example, remaining in good health, and opening up conversations about the impact of alcohol on personal and professional levels.
“First and foremost, I want to set a positive example for my children,” she said. “Children learn most from the behaviours and choices of their parents and those around them, and by embracing sobriety, I can show them the importance of self-discipline and responsibility.
“I made a deliberate choice to lead a sober life, not just for children, but also [for] my health and for the sake of my career. It can be hard watching young females in the industry being taken advantage of under the influence of alcohol.”
While the Ocsober campaign aims to raise awareness of the influence alcohol has on our lives, contributors are also raising funds to support Life Education. It’s a program that inspires and empowers young people making decisions about alcohol and drugs.
Kirby continued, “Ocsober is really about sending a message to drinkers young and old – male and female - that drinking alcohol shouldn't be a regular habit and that you don't need it to have fun or give you false confidence. I rarely mention that I don't drink, and most people don't know any different. I live by the motto that I'm wild enough without a drink!
“I chose to support Ocsober in the hope of creating conversations around the impact of alcohol both personally and professionally.”
In January, Kirby performed at the 51st Tamworth Country Music Festival, joining a line-up starring Troy Cassar-Daley, Kasey Chambers, Lee Kernaghan, The Wolfe Brothers, Beccy Cole and many more.
If you or someone you know is dealing with addiction issues or suffering from depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts or other mental-related illnesses, we implore you to get in contact with Beyondblue or Lifeline:
Beyondblue: 1300 224 636
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Suicide Call-Back Service: 1300 659 467
Beyondblue and Lifeline both also offer online chat/counsel. Check their respective websites for operational hours and details.