A message from the CEO

First Step has been proudly serving some of the most vulnerable people in Victoria for over 18 years.  In all that time we have responded quickly and decisively to the often extremely complex needs of people walking in the front door.  At First Step we are determined to make a difference in the lives of anyone seeking our assistance.  We approach our clients with unconditional positive regard, seeing and addressing the complexity in each individual’s life.  As a team we collaborate constantly, and strive to remove all barriers to care.

We bulk-bill, we have no geographical restrictions for any of our services (except for MHICC), so it doesn't matter where you live.  We have doctors with decades of experience in addiction medicine, psychologists, psychiatrist, mental health nurses, care coordinators, Drug and Alcohol workers, a Hep C and a full-fledged community legal centre: First Step Legal

In the past, we've mostly relied on people coming to us when they need help, fueled by word of mouth.  In 2017-18 we've also been focussed on adding highly tailored services for vulnerable groups such as in our Women's Space (Thursday afternoons), our Family Violence Legal Clinic and an upcoming trial for the treatment of people with substance use and ADHD. We will continue to grow strategically to make the most of our existing, highly professional multidisciplinary team by creating even more reasons for people to come to First Step and even more ways that we can help.

Our core belief is that everyone deserves every chance to turn their lives around.  If that's you, then call us.  If that's something you want to get behind then you might like to make a tax-deductible donation.  And if you don't want to do either of those things, then just be kind to people . . . including yourself.

Patrick Lawrence

CEO – First Step

Richard Kasperczyk

Former Managing Director, Converge International. Psychologist

Dr Ian Kronborg

Clinical Director of Medicine at Western Health

Mark Watt

First Step Chairman of the Board, CEO at Big Brother Big Sister Australia, CEO at Open Family Australia, Chair at Surrender Australia & St Kilda Gate House

Angela Wheelton


Barbara Kelly

Christie Arbuckle

Clinical Psychologist