16 February 2015

A passion for speaking out

After being declared cancer free in 1978, the story of my recovery was published in the Australian Medical Journal and soon hit the press. Almost immediately I was asked to explain my survival from community and veterinary groups in Adelaide where I was living and working.

To be frank, I was scared stiff. With little experience in the public arena, it took me ages to prepare for each of those early talks – both to get the content together and to get myself together!

Time has moved on. Adaptation and learning occurred, and I became used to appearing in public. Currently in 2015 I am stepping back a little from the steady round of public seminars, workshops etc, which has been a large part of my work in these last few years, so that Ruth and I can focus on the retreats we present – both for everyone interested in deepening their mindfulness and meditation practice, and the more specific residential programs we run together for people affected by cancer.

Also, we are both giving time for our own personal retreats – I am going into retreat for 12 weeks in the middle of the year – and it may well be that I am writing another book this year.

However, we have agreed to present a couple of public talks in 2015, the first is on quite soon in Sydney (this is the only Sydney event planned for 2015, the others will be in Brisbane and Cairns).

Greg Fitzgerald is the Sydney organiser - Ruth and I have joined him in a series of well-received events in the last few years - and he has contributed to this blog below.

If you are in Sydney and can join us, please come and say hello personally on the night. If you know anyone in Sydney who may be interested, please share the details with them.

Also, we have received a large number of enquiries asking when our Pearls will be back in stock and available again from the webstore after the first sold out in record time before Christmas.

Happily, we can announce that stocks have been replenished and the full range of Pearls is available once more - including the 'Pearls Collection' bundle.  Check them out : CLICK HERE.

So now, at the risk of self- aggrandisement, to help publicise the Sydney event I have decided to post the guest blog Greg has written - as he talks about what makes for a worthwhile speaker, but first

            Thought for the day

People do not care how much you know, 
Until they know how much you care!

                         Greg Fitzgerald

“During my 35 years in the natural health field, I have spoken at hundreds of seminars here and overseas, and shared the stage with countless speakers. I can honestly say only a handful of speakers have left a deeply unforgettable impression.

I have thought about this long and hard. How is it that that people’s lives can literally change in one talk at one seminar? Firstly, you have to know your stuff. If you talk nonsense, you will be seen through and lose all credibility.

Secondly, you have to have passion. If there is no “feeling” in your communication, you will become the best drug for insomnia ever discovered. In other words, passion for the subject is inspiring, and keeps the audience’s attention.

Thirdly, you have to care. People do not care how much you know, until they know how much you care!

And lastly, and this applies to the health area particularly, the best teachers are those who have suffered themselves. What I call “wounded healers”.

Great communicators in the health field are as rare as great communicators in the political or financial field.

Dr Ian Gawler overflows in all 4 criteria.

He has studied the field of mind/body medicine for well over 35 years. He lectures doctors and the public alike. He knows his stuff, no question.

His words, knowledge and very presence is inspiring. The fact that he is alive and in wonderful health is inspiring. His presence forces you to listen to his message. He is certainly no drug for insomnia!

Thirdly, he cares. He and his wife, Dr Ruth, deeply care so much about the declining state of mental and physical health in the western world and the conflicts of interest which confuse so many people, that they have devoted their lives sharing this wisdom. He has been awarded the Order of Australia Medal in 1987 for services to the community.

He founded The Gawler Foundation in Victoria, where people travel from all over the world to learn the best ways to live and overcome or prevent chronic health issues.

Lastly, Dr Gawler has suffered. In his mid 20’s AFTER his entire leg had been amputated and his cancer returned, he was given only weeks to live. While he had palliative radiotherapy and chemotherapy, he was told there was no real prospect that modern medicine could cure him. He was told “Get your affairs in order”. 

But Ian thought there might be something he could do for himself. So he did. And from this transformative experience, Ian has helped change literally millions of lives directly and indirectly.

By utilizing mind/body techniques and dietary change, Dr Gawler not only survived but thrived.

My wife dawn and I are very excited to announce that Dr Gawler will be speaking at our first seminar of the year on 3rd of March, 2015 at Kareela Golf Club, 1 Bates Drive, Kareela in the south of Sydney.

Modern studies have shown the tremendous effect the mind has on the body. Our psychology affects our biology! The issues in our heads often become issues in our tissues!

Dr Gawler will be addressing the critically important subject of what to “feed" your mind. This covers the sort of thoughts and emotions that feed our mind for the better. He will also address what thoughts and emotions poison our mind, predisposing us to unhappiness, inner turmoil and chronic illness. 

Dr Gawler will also discuss what he calls “The Missing Link”. This link is what is lacking in most people’s lives today, something that almost guarantees unhappiness and a restless mind. 

He will also explain the wonderful benefits of simple meditation, and take the audience through a deeply relaxing practical session."

                                                        Greg Fitzgerald

Ian again: 
This is the only public seminar I am likely to present in Sydney for 2015, and I am very pleased to be doing so in conjunction with Greg Fitzgerald. Greg, a Naturopath, Osteopath and Chiropractor and Principal of Health for Life Clinic and Seminars, will speak on ways we can nurture our physical bodies.

What is the good of having inner peace but a body that is falling apart with pain and disability? Greg will cover 10 life-changing areas, including explaining the puzzle of why some people eat well but still suffer health problems and the biggest exercise mistake most people make. This one tip alone can change your life.

See you there?


Public Seminar with Ian Gawler and Greg Fitzgerald

South Sydney -  Tuesday, March 3rd 2015

When?  Tuesday 3rd March 2015

Time?    Registration  6.30pm  Seminar 6.45pm - 10.15pm

Where?  Kareela Golf Club,  1 Bates Drive, Kareela

EARLY BIRD OFFER $39.00 only - until 24-3-2015 or until seats sold
(Normal price $59.00)

How to register and pay for this event?  Register online : CLICK HERE 

For enquires please call Dawn at Health for Life Seminars on 9540 1962 or 0424246847

Full details are on the website, click here


Meditation in the Forest        March 27th to April 2nd  2015   Yarra Junction

During this meditation retreat, we will be focusing upon the deeper stillness of meditation. We will explore the theory, but moreso, the actual practices that help us to go beyond the activity of the thinking mind into a more direct and profound experience of the still mind.

Deep, natural peace. A calm and clear mind. So many possibilities follow…..

FULL DETAILS Click here 


CANCER and BEYOND  May 2015   Monday 4th at 11am to Friday 8th at 2pm

Five Day Residential Follow-up Program at the Gawler Foundation in the Yarra Valley

This program is specifically designed for those with cancer along with their support people who have attended a previous Gawler Foundation program or equivalent such as with Sabina Rabold, CSWA, Cancer Care SA, CanLive NZ, or with the Gawlers

A unique opportunity to meet with like-minded people once again, to consolidate what you already know, to learn more from the combined knowledge, experience and wisdom of Ian and Ruth, to reaffirm your good intentions, and to go home refreshed and revitalised.

FULL DETAILS Click here 



GOOD NEWS for people affected by cancer in Melbourne. Much respected colleague Liz Stillwell has recommenced the Cancer Support Group and is meeting each Tuesday at the Augustine Centre.

The group will meet in term-times and all are welcome, including caregivers of course.

Many of you will know the Library at the Augustine Centre/Habitat Uniting Church, a large & wonderful book lined place of comfort, well seasoned with history for this group (I was running groups there in the early eighties and for those who have seen the historical documentary Mind the Healer, Mind the Slayer that was made in those heady days, this building featured quite prominently).

Liz has an excellent volunteer in Katrina Jenner and is well resourced. She is very experienced having trained extensively including with me, we have worked together for many years and still do and she has just completed her first unit of Clinical Pastoral Education at Royal Melbourne Hospital.

PS : Sleep workshop:  Please note Liz is also facilitating a 3 session Sleep Improvement workshop at Sentient Being Wellness at Eltham on Friday 20th, Sat 21st & Friday 27th Feb.

A melting pot of sleep information and experiential Hypnotherapy.

For details contact Liz on 041 5665 822 or  www.stilwellinhealth.com


  1. Look forward to attending this seminar in Brisbane. If you have dates or details I will share with my patients. Dr Rachel Wyndham

    1. Thanks Rachel, my omission leaving the links out for this and the Cairns events. The links are on the blog now, and to be clear, here is the Brisbane one directly: http://iangawler.com/pdf/Brisbane2015A4P.pdf
      See you in June :)

  2. Dr Gawler, are you planning sometimes to give a presentation or a lecture in Toronto or Montreal, Canada?

    1. I would love to come to Canada one day. My father was working there in the mid seventies when I had my leg amputated - difficult time for him and my stepmother and younger sister.
      Anyway, as you know , Canada is a long way, so we would need a good invitation to make it possible.....