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Christina DeLay is co-founder of Altina Drinks, a social enterprise hoping to tip Australia’s drinking culture on its head with a range of alcohol-free cocktails. She’s this week’s changemaker.  

What first inspired you to start a company that makes alcohol-free cocktails?

It was because of my own personal experience with drinking. I was working as a consultant in Canberra, and got quite caught up in the drinking culture of that industry – after-work drinks with your colleagues, business lunches, there’s alcohol at everything. When I cut back on the drinking, I realised what an important part of the social aspect of the industry going out and drinking was.

Were you surprised at people’s responses to you not drinking?

People around me really started to wonder what was wrong and why I wasn’t drinking. I was often asked if I was pregnant, and I would go to the bar and ask if I could have a water with a slice of lime in it to make it look like an alcoholic drink, to avoid those questions.

It really felt like it was me that had a problem, because I didn’t want to drink anymore. That was a real trigger to start having a bit of a conversation about more mindful drinking and drinking on your own terms, to counteract those social pressures that are in a lot of scenarios.

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