The optimal management of the cleft lip and palate patient from birth to completion of treatment presents a formidable challenge to the plastic surgeon and the associated health care system. The multidisciplinary team approach for the management of these patients is widely accepted. However, a paucity of literature exists discussing specific protocol management, interventions, and the long-term outcomes of patients who have completed a strict treatment protocol with a consistent multidisciplinary team. The aim of this study was to present the details of the specific management protocol at the Australian Craniofacial Unit for cleft lip and palate patients and to present a group of patients who have completed this specific protocol and discuss the details of their long-term care. During a 28-year period from 1974 to 2002, the records of 337 patients treated for unilateral cleft lip and palate were evaluated. Of these 337 patients, 22 have completed the same specific protocol management. The same surgeon (David, the senior author) has been responsible for performing all operative interventions and for overseeing the care of each of the 22 patients, ensuring that the treatment protocol has been executed appropriately and without deviation. The interventions and outcomes were analyzed on the basis of speech, hearing, nasal airway, occlusion, psychosocial adjustment, and appearance. Because of the large volume of data and potential differences in outcomes, the authors’ intention is to present this as part I of a four-part series beginning with unilateral cleft lip and palate. The results of isolated cleft palate, isolated cleft lip, and bilateral cleft lip and palate will be presented as parts II, III, and IV, respectively. Speech results were assessed as normal speech, mild abnormality, or severe abnormality by objective measures, and intervention for velopharyngeal insufficiency was noted. Seventeen patients were rated as having normal speech. Four patients were rated as having mild speech abnormality, one patient was rated as having severe speech abnormality, and seven patients required surgery for velopharyngeal insufficiency. Hearing results were measured objectively, and good hearing results were obtained in 18 cases. Five patients required tympanoplasty. All patients required alveolar bone grafting. The high Le Fort I osteotomy was performed in six cases. Bimaxillary surgery was performed in one case. Of all the patients assessed from birth to maturity, 13 required between three and five surgical interventions, and nine required six operations or more. Further details and photographs of preoperative and postoperative examples are provided.