First Step was founded in July 2000 by Peter White OAM with assistance from Dr Simon Rose and Tim Costello AO. The trio were responding then to what they perceived to be a critical need for low cost, effective treatment for people addicted to heroin.

First Step was then, and remains today, one of the few addiction programs to provide fully funded medical treatment (Bulk billed). We have maintained our commitment to provide free-to-the-public medical care but, in response to changing community needs, we have also broadened our treatment services to provide an extensive range of addiction, general and mental health care services, as well as social, legal and employment support for our patients.


The following is a short history of First Step prepared in celebration of our 20th anniversary in 2020: