Sarah Connelly is a corporate speaker, coach, entrepreneur and advocate for alcohol-free living. She is a wife, mum of 2 boys, a dog ( Harvey) a cat (Douglas).
As the founder of Product of the Year in Australia, Sarah has worked closely with Australia’s top brands and retailers for the past 14 years, supporting them to build the profile of their consumer products. After her own eye-opening journey to embrace an alcohol-free lifestyle, Sarah founded the SoberUpside website in 2019, now rebranded as Tapped In. Her mission is to be the go-to hub for alcohol-free inspiration and resources in Australia, and to advocate for and support AF lifestyle choices for drinkers who are not suffering from severe dependency, but who feel life could be better without so much booze.
Originally from the UK, Sarah has travelled far and wide, settling in Australia in 2000. In addition to her achievements in business she is passionate about self-improvement and is a certified mindset coach, counsellor and yoga and mindfulness instructor.
I had to find a way of making not drinking fun, exciting and purposeful.
Now, that I am free from alcohol and so much happier, my main drive is to help others like me to find their way, by presenting exciting and accessible options for change that are as easy to find as it is to walk into a bar and buy a beer.
Sarah created Tapped In to provide inspiration and resources as they embrace an AF lifestyle. She has collaborated with many amazing organisations and people including James Swanwick, Thrivalist Sobriety, Sansdrinks, Lyres Spirit Co, Noble Spirits, The Better With app and Kaddy, to name a few.
In addition to her work with organisations Sarah is also an alcohol-free lifestyle coach and currently works with James Swanwick, founder of The Project 90 Alcohol-free program. She is also completing her Gray Area Drinking certificate with field expert, Jolene Park.
On a personal note, Sarah is loving living life alcohol free and has never felt so fulfilled, focused and full of joy and gratitude. She hopes to share that with others.
Following the death of her father in 2019, Sarah recognised that her drinking had escalated during his illness. She knew she needed to make a big mindset shift to break what had become a daily habit. She didn’t consider herself an alcoholic, and, at the time, she wasn’t aware of any options or support available to help her in this transition.
It was eye-opening. She recognised that her reliance on alcohol wasn’t as serious as it was for others in the group. However it allowed her to see with some clarity the attitudes and bias that were fundamental to how people dealing with addiction are treated.
On leaving the program, she was again struck by the stigma attached to being ‘alcohol-free’.
She resorted to saying she was an alcoholic to be accepted by AA, and felt judged every time she said she didn’t drink. When she told people how quitting was the best thing she’s ever done it was met with raised eyebrows and disbelief.
Sarah has great empathy for those who suffer with alcoholism. It is a dangerous and serious disease which requires professional help and support. But she also knows there are many others who are upstream from serious addiction, and who seek to proactively choose an alcohol-free lifestyle. This can leave them feeling in no-mans land. Their problem isn’t ‘serious’ enough for re-hab but alternative options have been far and few between. There was so much negative energy surrounding ‘not drinking’, the message being that to quit you had to be at some devastating rock-bottom and that enjoying life without drinking was just a short-lived fantasy.
This was the catalyst for what has gone from personal journey to mission. Sarah is now the driving force behind the Tapped In community, joining forces with many leaders to change the alcohol-free conversation and to advocate for AF choice for individuals, in businesses and in venues across Australia.
Sarah is a passionate speaker who tells it how it is. She is honest and frank, with a determination to demystify and remove stigma from a very complex and emotive topic.
Her events and workshops are for those who are curious, intrigued and motivated by the possibility that they can free themselves from their drinking habit.
There is no magic pill, but we can have the capacity to find new ways to look at, think and feel about things. Sarah presents concepts for consideration in a way that is non-confronting, educational and, most importantly, light-hearted.
Her training, experience and business background enable her to speak to a wide range of people. Her audiences range from small intimate groups to large workshops and corporate presentations
Sarah is mindful she’s not for everyone, and that people suffering serious addiction and dependency issues should seek professional help that she is not qualified to offer.