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Why Open Minds?

Open Minds is an independent not-for-profit (NFP) organisation that works with people to enhance their mental health and wellbeing.

We offer a range of programs and tailored support services for people with a mental illness, disability or acquired brain injury. We are committed to partnering with individuals – focusing on their strengths – to enable individual achievement and recovery, whether that is gaining qualifications, finding a job, improving their health, moving into a new home or interacting in the community.

This includes supports streams encompassing your life, your job, your health, your home and your community. At the heart of what we do is a commitment to working alongside individuals and focusing on their strengths to enable personal achievement and recovery.

Our Story

Open Minds celebrated one hundred years of service in 2012.

Clients, staff and guests enjoyed a number of special events to mark the occasion and a beautiful history book was published which can be downloaded free:

Centenary Document Centenary Document (33573 KB)

612 ABC Brisbane also featured our story and you can listen to the programme here.

Our History

Wattle League committee members

The organisation began as the Queensland Wattle Day League in 1912 with the aim of promoting wattle as the symbol of Australia. It quickly established Wattle Day as an annual event and raised funds by selling wattle sprigs and badges.

The money provided a scholarship for sculptor Daphne Mayo to study in London and a further scholarship for Robert Percy Cummings who became Professor of Architecture at the University of Queensland. During and after the First World War, funds were used to support returned servicemen and their families. The League fully funded an orthopaedic ward at Rosemount Hospital (picture shows Wattle League members outside the hospital).

In the fifties, the League ran a sheltered workshop for disabled people and was pivotal in the creation of Queensland Council of Social Service. At that time, the League was entirely dependent on individual donations and the help of family members.

Workshops remained central to League activities until the 1980s when the workshop closed. New services that fitted the newly introduced Disability Services Act  attracted Government funding.

Over time, the League found itself becoming more focussed on supporting those with mental health difficulties. This accelerated with participation in the P300 Government programme to move people from long term psychiatric hospital care into the community. Many other new services have followed but all have a similar ethos that sees individuals supported to live independently and well within their community of choice.

One hundred years on, Open Minds is a robust organisation providing quality services to the Brisbane community.  It has contributed to significant artistic careers, provided wartime relief in Australia’s times of need and helped shaped social policy. The greatest legacy is the many lives that have been changed for the better.

More Information

View our timeline to learn more.

Read about the Women behind the League here.

The Fryer Library at the University of Queensland recently featured items relating to Daphne Mayo on their website here.        

You can also download the full version of our history from our publications page.  

Are you in immediate danger or need support now? Call Triple Zero (000) or go to a hospital.
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