03 March 2014

Ian Gawler on ABC TV; Compass - A Good Life

This week, unadulterated good news. ABC television with their presenter Geraldine Doogue and the Compass team made a series investigating the question “what makes for a good life?” They featured my story and reflections in one of three half hour programs.

In compiling this documentary, they managed to cover my history, work and beliefs. They have now granted permission (for a modest fee which we paid - it is free for you) making the program available for public viewing via my website.

This is probably the best representation of what I do, how I came to be doing it and the context in which it all sits. Some of you may have seen it when it first came out in 2009. If not, or if you care to re-view it or share it with someone interested in this work, please follow the link below.

Also this week more news of the 8 day cancer residential program Ruth and I have been invited to present in Auckland New Zealand - Aussies welcome!,  but first

Thought for the day

Conscience is the inner voice 
Which warns us that someone might be looking. 

The thing that feels bad 
When everything else feels good.
                          Unknown author

The Compass TV program, Ian Gawler – a Good Life was one of a three part series examining the question of what makes for a good life through the life stories of 3 Australians, yours truly included.

Compass obtained and reproduced some cool old archival footage including me in my veterinary days, some of the early cancer groups from 1983, the famous (or is that infamous) Couchman Show of 1989 where I was challenged by medical adversaries to present my 50 best cases for review (which I did but the review collapsed on the pretext that no funding was available, so I published those people’s stories in the book Inspiring People. It does seem remarkable that so many years down the track there is still the need to defend Lifestyle Medicine and the ability of people with cancer to learn how to help themselves).

Anyway, there are also scenes of my visit to shamanistic healers in the Philippines (where you get to see my body at its all time low weighing in at around 45Kgs) and to the Hindu mystic Sai Baba in India.

There is rare footage of Dr Ainslie Meares as he demonstrates and explains his meditation methods. Then the focus moves to more modern times with film from the Gawler Foundation’s Yarra Valley residential Living Centre including people at a cancer group there.

Woven through all this I am prompted by Geraldine Doogue’s skillful questioning to discuss the paradigm I work with and how the cancer programs particularly have developed over the years.

Being the Compass program, there is also a welcome investigation of spiritual values and meaning, and yes I do offer my thoughts very directly on what constitutes a good life.

So maybe this is something to view for those who really are interested in what I stand for, for those who may be in need of some inspiration, or those who just need a better idea of the range of options available to them.

Please do consider sharing this post and the link (it is very easy to view via the link on the homepage of my website: www.iangawler.com) and enjoy some good news!

DIRECT LINK to the Compass TV program, Ian Gawler – a Good Life 

Cancer survivors? Cancer thrivers

Cancer, transformation and meaning - Ilana’s story

The Dragon’s Blessing – Guy Allenby : my biography – if you want the full story :)

CANCER, HEALING and WELLBEING :  16th  - 23rd  May 2014

Eight day residential program with Ruth and myself in Auckland - Aussies welcome!

Ruth and I are pleased to have been invited to new Zealand to present this 8 day cancer recovery program. The program is evidence based and will be highly experiential. We will cover the full range of Integrative Medicine options, with the emphasis on what people can do for themselves – therapeutic nutrition, exercise and meditation, emotional health, positive psychology, pain management, the search for meaning and so on.

I will personally present the majority of the content but along with Ruth, participants will have the additional support and experience of Liz Maluschnig and Stew Burt; two very experienced and committed New Zealanders.

For details on this and the other cancer related residential programs for 2014 CLICK HERE 


  1. An interesting and powerful program, thanks for sharing. What an awesome life you've lived.

  2. Ian
    I am confused. They made the program in 2009. Is the good news the fact that this same program is now being linked on your website?. People can go direct to the ABC site and type in a key word to find the program you are referring to and you can also direct people there without a fee so not sure what the purpose is here.

    1. The transcript is available on the ABC site, but they only make some of the programs downnloadable to watch and then only for 12 weeks after each one is aired. For years this program has not been available to be watched directly from the ABC website. However, now anyone who wants to can watch it again via my own website, and there is no fee involved for them. We paid a modest fee to make it available.