CIMF 2018 Masthead

Canberra ain’t boring

Beatrice Smith

The power of two women with a plan cannot be underestimated. 

Soudalay Thammavongsa and Emma Madsen are two such women who are setting out to change Canberra, one small purchase at a time.

Their first venture, Spare 10! was launched in May 2016 to help Canberra’s homeless find warmth by encouraging Canberrans to donate the cost of two coffees.

Overall, Spare10! raised $10,425 via their Go Fund Me! page, but for Soudalay and Emma, it was just the beginning of their efforts to help Canberrans in need.

“Not only were we able to buy hundreds of thermals for local homeless, we also bought over 120 sleeping bags,” they explain.  “From this experience, we knew we could take this local movement of love and support even further.”

Their newest venture won’t be a single campaign, but rather the start of a sustainable and long-term organisation, whose goal is to support Canberra charities in the long term.


We Ain’t Boring will sell bottled Aussie spring water at local businesses and events, with every cent raised going to a different charity each month – but there’s a twist.

“We’re letting each of our stockists pick a charity or organisation so they each take a turn to decide where the money goes – as long as it is not for profit, registered and Canberra-based. We want to be ‘about everybody’ and reach as many as we can.”

This way, Emma explains, events or stockists can advertise that the water they’re selling will go directly to their charity of choice, hopefully convincing consumers to keep their money within the community.

“We realised there was a real hunger in Canberra for a Canberra-focused social enterprise. We love Canberra and we love supporting those in need here.”

But why bottled water?

“We had to think of a product that people used every day, that people would buy again. It seemed to all click into place,” says Emma. “But we’re hoping to go into other products in the future.”

Emma and Soudalay acknowledge Emma’s mum (Soudalay’s ‘second mum) Jillian Stroud as their inspiration for Spare 10! and We Ain’t Boring.

“Jilli taught us both about compassion, to always keep striving for your dreams and to never give up. Her untimely death due to Brain Cancer in 2014 taught us both that life is far too short and all that matters is the love and kindness you give out.”

Keep an eye on We Ain’t Boring CBR’s Facebook page to find where their first bottles of water will be stocked when they launch soon! Their website will also be live soon:

If you’d like to get in touch with We Ain’t Boring CBR to become a supporter or stockist, you can contact them at [email protected].


Beatrice Smith

Bea loves that her job as HerCanberra’s Online Editor involves eating, drinking and interviewing people - sometimes simultaneously. The master of HerCanberra’s publishing schedule, she’s usually found hunched over a huge calendar muttering to herself about content balance. Otherwise, you’ll find her at the movies or ordering a cheese board. More about the Author

Handmade May Leaderboard