The Band of Hope was founded in United Kingdom in 1847 and established in Australia by 1860 during a time when excessive drinking among adults was common, adding to the problems of poor living conditions and health, and maltreatment of children and child mortality. Alcohol was freely available to children. The organisation had a policy of education particularly with the young. Many Bands of Hope were associated with Churches and Sunday Schools. The Band of Hope targeted children of parents who wanted their children to be educated and have a secure future. It was seen by many adults as a way to develop self-reliant working men who could use temperance as a route to self improvement.
To encourage children to join and remain members, groups held annual outings, tea meetings, offered music lessons, established orchestras and produced newspapers whose content promoted temperance. Meetings began with a temperance hymn, prayers and the chairman's speech, this was followed by music, recitations, readings and pledge signing.
Queen Victoria became patron in 1897, the Jubilee year, and several celebrations were held. In some ways it could be said that the success of the Band of Hope caused its own decline. As alcohol misuse became less of a problem and as legislation improved there seemed to be less need to work so fervently in this area.