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The Gawler Foundation

Over 15,000 people have attended The Gawler Foundation's Residential programs in Victoria's Yarra Valley and more than 75,000 people have attended our Non-residential programs conducted by Ian and his team of highly-trained therapists.

These programs are reinforced by a range of resources including counselling, massage, reflexology and its resource centre.

Mindfulness Meditation for Health Practitioners

Mindfulness-based meditation, stress management and cognitive therapy are attracting enormous interest in the mental health and medical fields. Much of this interest is based upon emerging research as well as millennia of acquired wisdom.

In contemporary health settings, mindfulness has a range of diverse applications including management of depression, anxiety, chronic pain and eating disorders as well as having direct and beneficial physiological effects relevant to the management of heart disease, cancer and other chronic conditions.

This three-day experiential live-in program is designed for health practitioners from various disciplines who are interested in developing or extending skills in practice and delivery of mindfulness therapies.

Participants will be introduced to a range of mindfulness practices and explore how mindfulness can form the core of a comprehensive approach to stress management, counselling and cognitive therapy.

By gently allowing each person to move at their own pace the program will be suitable for practitioners new to mindfulness and also for those more experienced.

Prolonged periods of practice will be punctuated with instruction, discussion, questions and reflection and optional yoga, all in the beautiful and peaceful environment and facilities of The Gawler Foundation's Retreat Centre in Yarra Junction.

This retreat usually receives CPD points. To find out more, visit our website.

Group Leadership Training - Fully Endorsed

The Training is based upon Dr Ian Gawler's "You Can Conquer Cancer" and has been used for over 25 years to conduct The Gawler Foundation's 12-week Cancer Self-Help Group.

His book "You Can Conquer Cancer" is a standard text for many people affected by cancer. Ian has helped many other cancer self-help Groups to form, and has led training programs since 1988. He is known for his wisdom, clarity, and humour.

The Training includes formal presentations, discussions, questions, and experiential exercises. It is fully documented and the complete Manual will only be available to endorsed participants at the end of the Training.

Who can attend the Training?

  • Experienced and suitable qualified health professionals and others working in hospitals or community agencies who wish to become endorsed leaders, in order to set up their own Cancer Self-Help Program following The Gawler Foundation's Guidelines.
  • Experienced and qualified individual health practitioners who wish to become endorsed to establish a Cancer Self-Help Program following The Gawler Foundation's Guidelines.
  • Experienced and motivated individuals who wish to learn in depth about The Gawler Foundation's Cancer Self-Help principles and processes for personal development, but do not seek or receive endorsement to use The Gawler Foundation 12 Week Cancer Self-Help Program Manual and materials.


  • Participants should have appropriate training and experience in adult education.
  • Eligibility to complete or to upgrade qualifications, eg. 'Train the Trainer' to Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, is deemed highly desirable.

Learning Objectives:

  • To have confidence to lead a group of people affected by cancer through key topics in the style of The Gawler Foundation's 12 Week Cancer Self-Help Program.
  • To learn the essential elements that are required to be presented for each of these topics.
  • To be comfortable with and supporting people affected by cancer.
  • To be able to attend to self care and sustain oneself in this work, both professionally and emotionally.
  • To demonstrate developing group dynamics skills that balance presentation and experiential exercises; and the ability to attend to the needs of individuals and the group as a whole.
  • To demonstrate a basic knowledge of organizational principles and practices, ongoing support and development in leading their own program.
  • To be eligible for endorsement to lead Cancer Self-Help Programs following The Gawler Foundation's Guidelines.

Endorsement Criteria:

At the conclusion of full participation in the Training, only suitably qualified participants who meet the following Endorsement Criteria will be eligible to purchase and use the fully documented Manual:

  • The person has appropriate professional / personal qualifications and experience, including in adult learning, or is eligible or in the process of gaining such qualifications, skills and experience.
  • The person has the skills, capacity, and access to facilities to set up and maintain their own business or not-for-profit CSHG Program.
  • The person demonstrates knowledge of TGF Program content and personal congruence with the philosophical approach of The Gawler Foundation.
  • The person commits to an ethical compliance with the underlying philosophy, approach and content of TGF 12 Week Cancer Self-Help Program 'Healing and Wellbeing', in their marketing, presentation and development.
  • The person has an ongoing commitment to contact, support and training through TGF, through such structures as Online Updates, Gawler mentoring, and an annual Training Update Program (at participant's expense).
  • The participant agrees to provide accurate update information, feedback and evaluation data on their program's quality control to TGF, and agrees that such data may be used for research and development purposes by TGF.

Life after endorsement:

  • Ongoing contact, support and training: through such structures as Online Support and Networking, TGF mentoring on a one to one basis in the area of program content and process, and an annual Training Update Program at Yarra Junction (at participant's expense).
  • Ongoing Regulation and Quality Control: to enable the maintenance of endorsement by TGF endorsed leader of their autonomous group.
  • Ongoing Resources: Regular updates of relevant information.
  • Personal visits from Ian Gawler or other TGF therapists: On an annual basis, if in area or workshop organized, or finances covered by host organisation.
Address 55 Rayner Court
Yarra Junction VIC 3797
Tel 03 5967 1730
Fax 03 5967 1715