Our History

Founded in 1849 as the Moreton Bay Temperance Society, Healthy Options Australia has transformed and renewed itself by constantly reinventing and innovating with news ways to best help the community.

The Foundation has a long and rich history within Queensland. More recently Healthy Options Australia has grown to provide additional services in New South Wales, South Australia and is associated with organisations in Canberra and Victoria.


Ten years before the colony became a state, the Temperance Movement in Queensland began in 1849. Munroe Smith arrived from England and John Smith emigrated from Canada and founded the movement. These two men, having influenced a few friends to join them, united to form the Moreton Bay Temperance Society. 


The Moreton Bay Temperance Society changed its name to Brisbane Total Abstainers Movement.


An area of Government land, in Ann Street Brisbane, was received in trust by the Society. Volunteers built a Temperance Hall on the site. This site was expanded and the rent supported the outreach work of the organisation.

1919 – 1926    

In line with the rise of the Prohibition Movement in the 1920s, various temperance organisations in Queensland came together to form the Strength of the Empire whose purpose was to combat alcoholism and venereal disease. In 1921, the combined executives of the groups decided to form the Queensland Prohibition League.


In 1927  the organisation focussed on providing alcohol free hotels. Three hotels named the ‘Canberra Hotels’ were built during this time by the Queensland Prohibition League. In March, the Brisbane Canberra Hotel was built on the old Temperance Hall site on Ann Street. Proving alcohol free accommodation continued to be a main focus of the organisation until the late 1980s.


The Queensland Prohibition League changed its name to the Queensland Temperance League and the concept of outreach programs was established based at the Canberra Hotel in Brisbane.


In 1981, the League set up the Drug Awareness and Relief Movement (Drug ARM) as the program and service delivery arm of the organisation.


The name of the Queensland Temperance League was officially changed to the Drug Awareness and Relief Foundation (Australia) in order to continue the expansion and development of its range of intervention and support programs across the country.


The Drug Awareness and Relief Foundation (Australia) began trading as Healthy Options Australia and the merger of Drug ARM, Mental Health Association QLD and the Australia College of Community Services saw it become one of the largest providers of prevention, treatment and rehabilitation services in the areas of alcohol and other drugs and mental health in Australia.