Gawler Program

The Gawler Foundation’s Cancer 10-day Residential program and the weekly Melbourne Cancer Self-Help group met regularly for nearly 40 years and were attended by thousands. 

These programs were based upon Ian Gawler’s international bestseller You Can Conquer Cancer. Participants learnt and were supported to use what is best described as Lifestyle Medicine. This is based upon what people can do for themselves and provides an integrated, inclusive approach to conventional and complementary therapies. Topics covered included therapeutic meditation and nutrition, how to harness the power of the mind, emotional health, dealing with setbacks, pain management, death and dying, finding hope and meaning in adversity.

These programs were acknowledged internationally as setting the standard for Lifestyle-based self-help programs; they made an outstanding contribution to the health and wellbeing of so many. Some recovered, many lived much longer than their prognosis, and many people were assisted to find peace of mind and to die well. 

Ian was on the Advisory Board of the Australasian Integrative Medicine Association for many years. He was also one of the founders of Meditation Australia and more recently has helped establish the Centre for Contemplative Studies at the University of Melbourne, and the Centre for Consciousness and Contemplative Studies at Monash. Dr Ruth Gawler was also on the Meditation Australia Board for 8 years.

As a result of several factors including the COVID Pandemic, the last of the 5-day Residential Cancer programs at the Yarra Valley Living Centre was held in January 2021; the last Residential Meditation Program in March 2021 (carefully orchestrated between 2 lockdowns!) Currently, Drs Ian and Ruth Gawler do not facilitate these residential programs anywhere else.


The Gawler Cancer Foundation officially closed the Yarra Valley Living Centre in March 2021 and have leased the facility to the Brahma Kumaris. The Foundation has plans to run programs at the Centre; details of which will appear on their website.

Although we deeply regret the closing of the Centre, we do encourage people seeking those teachings to use the downloads and the books Ian wrote. By creating your own personal program; by listening, reading and studying the content through the books and downloads, much can be accomplished. Ian has always said “Something only has to be done once to show it is possible”. He has left “the map” and the directions…. You can find Healing Downloads on the Webstore here …



Additionally, we encourage people to download the Allevi8 meditation App developed by Ian. Then you might like to join Ian and Ruth, along with the rest of the Allevi8 team for a group practice amongst like-minded people : every Monday at 8pm AEST on zoom for 45 mins. Ian and Ruth regularly lead these meditation sessions, along with the team they have trained and mentored. 

The Allevi8 meditation App is free of charge, as are the weekly meditation sessions, Allevi8@8. You may like to “pay it forward” and donate. There is also an online meditation mentor program whereby you can be connected to an experienced meditation teacher who will guide and support you to develop your meditation practice.  

Currently the Yarra Valley Living Centre is being maintained and cared for by a new team of spiritually motivated good people, the Brahma Kumaris, who are keen to help others with healing, both physically, emotionally and spiritually.

You can contact the Centre during normal business hours during the week:

Telephone: 03 59675400 or Maureen 0478777405                    

or directly email them at [email protected]

BK’s Website : 

To purchase the  Gawler Cancer Program downloads referred to here, you can go to

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Ian's Blog - Out On A Limb