Tracey Gibbons and Taman Elphick are giving up alcohol to raise funds for Life Education during Ocsober.
Tracey Gibbons and Taman Elphick are giving up alcohol to raise funds for Life Education during Ocsober. Lisa Griffin

Give booze the boot for 'Ocsober'

ACCORDING to Homer Simpson, beer is both the cause of, and the answer to, all of life's problems.

More than a thousand people across the state will find out if this is true this month as they put alcohol aside for a month during "Ocsober" to raise money for Life Education.

Taman Elphick and Tracey Gibbons, workmates from the Gladstone's Hertz car-rental agency, started their dry month right on time.

"We didn't wait until after the grand final, we started at 12.01am on Saturday," Tracy said.

"We're not big drinkers, but when we do, we make a big night of it. One of the reasons for stopping is to see how we go without it for a while," she said.

Michael Fawsitt, director of Life Education Queensland, said while the campaign was their major source of donations, many people took part for other reasons.

"It serves a dual purpose, it also gives people the chance to reflect upon their own alcohol use," Mr Fawsitt said.

"Some people do it to set an example, maybe they have a family member or a friend who has a problem with alcohol.

"It's such a part of Australian culture, but we're trying to put alcohol in its proper place and make people aware that it's something to enjoy, not to use and abuse to excess."

Police prosecutor Sergeant Sean Franklin is taking part in Ocsober partly to raise awareness of community impacts. He's seen more than most how drinking sessions can end in violence, death and jail time.

Independent charity the Australian Education and Rehabilitation Foundation, found this year 70,000 Australians would become victims of alcohol-related assaults, 24,000 of them victims of domestic violence.

The girls from Hertz say they're hoping Ocsober will be more gain than pain.

"We're going to find something healthy and non

alcoholic to do, like fishing," Tracey said.

Donations can be made via http://www.ocsober.com.au

 

Hangover Free Zone

  • Ocsober started in 2008
  • Money raised goes to Life Education
  • More than 22,000 people die in Australia each year as a result of alcohol and drug abuse
  • By the age of 15, one in three Australian teenagers is binge-drinking


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