Plenty of reasons why Michelle Aubert is going dry this July

Michelle Aubert with her mum, Margaret Crawley, a Coffs Harbour champion volunteer who sadly passed away to cancer in February 2023.

COFFEE catch-ups is one way to go for a social fix during Dry July, the annual challenge encouraging Aussies to give up alcohol and raise funds towards improving the comfort, care and wellbeing of people affected by cancer, says Dry July participant Michelle Aubert, who lives in Emerald Beach.

“Or taking mineral water if I’m going to a friend’s place for lunch, or driving,” she said.

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Michelle is doing Dry July for a range of reasons, fuelled by a feeling of needing a gap, a break, time to sit things out.

“I’m going away on a surf trip later in the year and I want to be as fit and healthy as I can be for that,” Michelle told News Of The Area.

“I’m an events manager, I work hard and at the end of the day I might have a drink as a reward.

“I have no work events booked during July, so the timing is perfect,” she said.

“We lost mum to T-cell lymphoma in February this year, which we didn’t know she had, and it was quick.

“I’m sad; I’m not ready to move on from my grief but sometimes if I feel like a glass of wine, I have one, and I’m not going to do that anymore,” she said.

Her mum was the local fundraising, charitable legend, Margaret Crawley, who played a huge role in the success of Coffs Harbour Show and the Coffs Harbour Garden Club.

“I’m 54 and my body is changing, and I can feel and see the effects of alcohol, it doesn’t help.

“It’s time,” she said.

Negative peer pressure from friends who think they’ve lost their drinking buddy can be off putting for some Dry July-ers.

Michelle said, ”I’ve never been one to succumb to peer pressure and I know my friends will support me.”

Bestie Angela Martin, acting chief executive at Lifeline, has said she’s got the peppermint tea brewing.

“She’s told me, you can have a peppermint tea while I have a G&T.”

Dry July has proved its punch, celebrating its 15-year milestone in 2023.

Co-founder Brett Macdonald said, “we couldn’t be prouder to be the trailblazers of such a positive global trend, that has not only impacted people’s health and relationship with alcohol, but above all, has raised vital funds for people affected by cancer”.

Dry July Foundation chief executive Katie Evans said it was undeniable that the mass participation in Dry July had impacted Australia’s drinking culture.

“Our research this year proves people are less worried about backlash from their mates if they opt to take a break from the booze.

“Dry July research found 73 percent of people agree that it is more popular than ever, and over half admit it’s no longer taboo to take a booze break.”

As for past Dry July participants, the experience has been such a positive one, that four in five have considered going completely alcohol-free.

“Taking 31 days off drinking in July also offers people a little circuit breaker in their year.

“Whether you’re signing up to raise funds for a cancer foundation close to your heart, doing it for a loved one, or maybe you want to improve your health or your bank balance, every reason is valid, and participants always finish the challenge with a true sense of achievement,” she said.

To sign up for Dry July or make a donation, visit the Dry July website –


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