History of UnitingCare ReGen

In Detail ...

UnitingCare ReGen was established by the Methodist Conference of Victoria and Tasmania in 1970 as the Moreland Hall Alcohol Treatment Centre. Founded under the Directorship of the Reverend Alf Foote, Moreland Hall sought to express the Christian values of liberty, hope and wholeness through hospitable and compassionate care.

While the range of services offered has expanded overtime, the powerful vision that everyone has the potential for wellness, has continued to be central to Moreland Hall's philosophy. When it was established, Moreland Hall offered a holistic approach to treatment that was innovative at the time. The following characteristics were central to Moreland Hall's approach:

  • The families of those undergoing treatment were welcomed at the Centre. Spouses were allowed to stay there and family therapy was integral to the programs;
  • The client's right to choose and to live with the consequences of that choice were respected. Clients were not seen as diseased or ill and therefore to be protected from the consequences of their choices. Discharge from the program was not a punishment for wrongdoing, but a consequence of the client's choosing not to participate in Moreland Hall's treatment approach;
  • Post-treatment residential support was offered in community houses.

In 1971 Moreland Hall's charter was extended to include clients who were dependent on drugs other than alcohol.

In the 1980s new programs were developed including the Drink Driving Program and the Substitute Therapy Program. Three properties in Jessie Street and Hall Street were also purchased. The Health Enhancement Centre was established to focus on community based programs, such as family therapy, community development and personal development therapy, as opposed to the residential programs.

However, despite these developments, the 1980s were a difficult time for Moreland Hall. There were changes to health care funding and finances were tight. As revenue declined the buildings fell into disrepair. In 1987-88 a review of Moreland Hall resulted in a major restructuring. Staff retrenchments and loss of funding meant a reduction in service options and low staff morale. The Rehabilitation Program was closed but on a brighter note a new wing was opened for the Substitute Therapy Program.

The 1990s saw the gradual rejuvenation of Moreland Hall. An increasing clarity regarding Moreland Hall's mission and its future was developed. Government policies towards the funding of health and community services have changed. In the mid-1990s, Turning the Tide, the Victorian State Government's response to the problem of drugs, was announced. This provided additional funding for drug education and treatment. Moreland Hall has been able to take advantage of these opportunities to diversify.

Its range of programs and services now include:

  • withdrawal services;
  • day alcoho rehabilitation program
  • programs for the justice system;
  • counselling to those who use drugs and their families; and
  • education and training to the community and to professionals whose work brings them into contact with those who use drugs.

From small beginnings, ReGen has become an important service provider in the drug treatment service field.

If you are a previous client of ReGen's various stages of development, and you wish to tell us a story or describe your experiences at ReGen, contact us, and we may publish your comments.

Honouring Special Contributions

presentation_to_rev_alf_foote_by_ian_angus_small40th Anniversary Celebrations honour founder
Reverend Alfred (Alf) Foote


Moreland Hall was established by the Methodist Conference of Victoria and Tasmania in 1969 and dedicated for this purpose on 2nd May 1970. The Reverend Alf Foote was appointed as its first Director and commenced his role in 1969. During the 40th Anniversary celebrations held on Sunday 2nd and Monday 3rd May 2010 the Reverend Alf Foote was honoured as the founder of Moreland Hall. (Read more)

Naming Ceremonies

Gwenyth Williams House

UnitingCare ReGen's Youth Residential Drug Withdrawal Unit, Gwenyth Williams House, was opened on Tuesday 13th June 2000. It was named after Gwenyth Williams, a former Board of Governance member with an incredible record of 30 years service to Moreland Hall. (Read more)

Jack Hoadley Hall

Jack Hoadley, a former Board of Governance Chairperson for 9 years, and board member for 10 years, was honoured in December 2001 with the naming after him of the hall within the ReGen grounds at 26 Jessie Street, Coburg. The hall was recently restored, including being fully painted and floorboards polished to their original condition. (Read more)

Lesley-Anne Curran Place

On 1st April 2003, UnitingCare ReGen's Community Residential Drug Withdrawal Unit was named after the late Reverend Lesley-Anne Curran. Lesley-Anne joined the Board of Governance in April 1998, and during that time served on the selection committee for the Executive Director position and contributed her own particular brand of warmth and humour to proceedings. Lesley-Anne resigned from the board in September 2000, a difficult year for her, governed by a number of months' illness and a long convalescent period. She remained in touch with UnitingCare ReGen through her work in prison ministry. (Read more)

Read more about these special contributions to our history