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FAQ’s

Should I bring a support person or carer to my retreat?

Many people find it helpful to have a spouse, carer or friend with them on retreat. This is a very comprehensive educational program and you are more likely to be successful at implementing your lifestyle changes at home if your carer understands why you are making changes especially with regard to things like your diet and juicing. Our retreats also allow carers to gain some support for themselves. They have the opportunity to talk to other carers in similar situations, confront their fears and explore their own challenging issues.

Will I meet Ian Gawler?

It depends on the retreat you are attending. Ian Gawler still currently guest facilitates at a number of retreats at our Yarra Valley Living Centre but officially retired in his permanent position with the foundation in 2009.

Can I bring my children?

Sorry, The Gawler Cancer Foundation is unable to accommodate children on retreats at this time.

What will I do on my retreat?

Whilst every retreat is different, we always try to balance physical activities and information sessions with time out for rest and reflection. Click here to read more about our 7 Essential Elements of good health.

Here is an example of a typical day on the Life and Living Cancer Retreat.

Morning
7:15        Wake up bell
7:45        Morning meditation
8:30        Breakfast
9.15        Meditation instruction then Qigong
11:15     Morning tea
11.45     Food and nutrition session

Afternoon
1:15        Lunch and free time
3:00        Afternoon meditation
3:30        Juice break
3.45        Small group sessions i.e. importance of healthy emotions
4:45        Juice break
5.00        Options in pain management session

Evening
6:00        Evening meditation
6:30        Dinner
7.45        Light film or other activity in keeping with discussions of the day

Where will I do my retreat?

All our retreats are held at The Yarra Valley Living Centre at 55 Rayner Court Yarra Junction Victoria – approximately 70 kms from Melbourne.

How do I get to the Yarra Valley Living Centre?

Our Yarra Valley Living Centre is located in Yarra Junction, in Victoria’s Yarra Valley, approximately 70 kilometres and 1.5 hours from Melbourne.

55 Rayner Court, Yarra Junction VIC 3797
Melways Map Ref 288 J12
Phone:  03 5967 1730
Email:  info@gawler.org

Airport/Melbourne CBD Transfers:

We currently offer a shuttle bus service from both Melbourne Airport and Melbourne CBD to our centre in the Yarra Valley. This service can be arranged as part of the retreat booking process, fees are $50 per person each way ($100 per person return).

If you would prefer to arrange a private transfer, there are two service providers currently offering this service to our centre, and you can contact them directly using the details below to enquire/book.  Please note private transfer fees are approximately $185 per person each way ($370 return).

Aerodirect Cars
Phone 1300 363 913 or aerodirect@optusnet.com.au

Red Line
Phone 0412 187 110 or neil_comer@bigpond.com

Please Note:  While we are unable to assist with the coordination of transport sharing between participants coming to centre, participants do sometimes make their own private sharing arrangements (during the retreat) for the trip home.  In these cases the returning shuttle bus trip may be cancelled with no cancellation fee.

Instructions for driving from Melbourne:

  • Enter the Eastern Freeway and then continue on Eastlink* to Ringwood
  • On approaching Ringwood keep in left lane and pass through the Mullum Mullum tunnel.
  • Take first exit after tunnel keeping to the left. Follow this route (keeping to the left) until the sign for Maroondah Highway – Lilydale appears.
  • Take the left exit and follow the Maroondah Highway to Lilydale.
  • At Lilydale keep in the right hand lane and approx 2 kms out of Lilydale, turn right onto the Warburton Highway. Follow this route to Yarra Junction.
  • At Yarra Junction turn right at the second set of traffic lights into Little Yarra Rd (sign for Gawler Foundation posted on the corner).
  • 4 kms down Little Yarra Road, on the left-hand side, is Rayner Court and our property is signposted.

*NB: Toll charges apply to the Eastlink section of the Freeway. See http://www.eastlink.com.au for details.

Instructions for travelling by Public Transport:

The nearest train station to us is Lilydale (approx. 30 minutes by road from our centre). Trains travel from Melbourne to Lilydale station and this trip takes approx. 55 minutes. Further details can be obtained via www.ptv.vic.gov.au.

A bus service operates between Lilydale station and the township of Yarra Junction. The bus route is #683 and further details are via www.martyrs.com.au or (03) 5966 2035. Once on the bus you can ask the driver to let you off at Safeway in Yarra Junction. We are approximately 4 kilometres from this bus stop, and from here you can travel by foot or taxi with the following directions:

  • From Safeway, continue along Warburton Highway for approx. 150 metres, until you reach the set of lights at Little Yarra Road.
  • Turn right down Little Yarra Road and continue for approx. 4 kilometres until you find Rayner Court on your left.   Our property is located at the end of Rayner Court and is signposted.

Do you run any programs outside Victoria?

Currently we run all our programs in Victoria, though we have some associates who are approved to run the 12 week Living Well Cancer Program in other areas. Click here  for a complete list.

What do I need to bring?

  • Casual clothes – layers are a good idea to deal with Victoria’s changeable weather.
  • Any medications or supplements that you are taking.
  • Personal Toiletries – please limit scented toiletries for the benefit of other participants who may be sensitive.

Can I phone my family or can they visit me?

We discourage visits from family as we find that participants get the most out of their retreats when they can remove themselves from outside distractions and concentrate on the retreat process. You are welcome to use your mobile phone or our landline for urgent matters.

Is there computer access?

We advise you to leave your computers at home and spend the time focusing on your health and wellbeing.

How do I book into a retreat?

To book please call us on 1300 651 211 during normal business hours. To reserve a place you will need to pay a deposit and the balance is due 3 weeks before the program starts.

What if after I’ve booked, I can’t come or need to change to another retreat?

Cancellation & Transfer Policy for ALL retreats (excluding Meditation Teacher Training) are as below:
Cancellations received up to three weeks prior to retreat commencement will incur a non-refundable fee of $110 per booking. Cancellations received less than three weeks prior to retreat commencement will incur a non-refundable fee of $220 per booking.  No refunds are given once the retreat has commenced.
If you are unable to attend, you may transfer once with no charge, to another retreat up to three weeks before commencement. If you transfer to another retreat less than three weeks before commencement, a $110 transfer fee per booking will apply.

Cancellation & Transfer Policy for Meditation Teacher Training are as below:
Cancellations received up to three weeks prior to retreat commencement will incur a non-refundable fee of $220 per booking. Cancellations received less than three weeks prior to retreat commencement will incur a non-refundable fee of $550 per booking.  No refunds are given once the retreat has commenced.
If you are unable to attend, you may also transfer to another retreat. Transferring to another retreat up to three weeks before commencement will incur a $110 charge.  If you transfer to another retreat less than three weeks before commencement, a $220 transfer fee per booking will apply.

Bushfire Procedures

The Gawler Cancer Foundation has developed a comprehensive bush fire plan, including pre-season preparation, leave early procedures, shelter in place procedures and all of the jobs associated with these options.

Our policy would be to leave the premises on a day declared a code red (leaving either the night before or early in the morning) and to conduct the program at an alternate location. A cancellation of the program could occur if ongoing risk is evident.

If we had to shelter in place we have procedures in place, but this is a secondary plan to the above plan to leave early.