Someone who inspires me – Petrea King

You may have read about Petrea King in the Women’s Weekly or seen her remarkable life profiled on ‘Australian Story’ or ‘This Is Your Life’.

Or you may have heard her interviewed on ABC radio giving thoughtful insights and advice on dealing with the problems life can throw at us – often without warning.

Since her unexpected recovery from acute myeloid leukaemia in 1984, Petrea has devoted her life to providing practical skills and strategies for people facing a range of life challenges.

Now, Petrea runs the Quest for Life Foundation, which through its Quest for Life Centre in Bundanoon NSW, offers day and residential self-help programs for people living with cancer, grief, loss, depression and trauma.

More than 80,000 people have benefited from these residential programs and services. The NSW Health Department and Quest’s own fundraising efforts make it possible for all programs to be subsidised for people in financial need.

This beautiful retreat centre set in nine tranquil acres provides the perfect environment for learning new skills in mindfulness, meditation and living with increased awareness, as well as a range of complementary approaches to healing and creating wellbeing.

Whether it is the ‘Healing Your Life’ program that caters for people at a cross roads in their life due to depression, loss, grief or past trauma; or the ‘Quest for Life’ program for people with cancer or other physical illness and their loved ones, people leave Quest feeling confident and equipped to deal with the challenges they face.

Petrea and her team of facilitators, counsellors, naturopaths and therapists provide the latest information on naturopathic, meditation and neuroscience’s most current perspectives.

All programs are presented in an integrated way, tailored to support individuals exactly where they are, and help each person find their own best answers.

The atmosphere at Quest is of warm welcome and support providing the perfect environment to find a healing and healthy pathway forward.

If you or a loved one would like to find out more about the programs Quest for Life provide, please visit or call 1300 941 488.


Filed under Inspiring people

6 responses to “Someone who inspires me – Petrea King

  1. My partner went on a Petrea King Quest for Life course last year. A hardened barrister, a man’s man and someone who needed to stop, take stock and reboot. But would he listen to his inner voice? For years he forged on, conquering the external world and neglecting his inner, becoming further away from his essence and purpose. Upon my gentle guidance and firm boundaries, I encouraged him to do Petrea’s course at Bundanoon. It really was a last hope for all involved. He went, not realising he would come out with profound insights about himself. In his words it was a life changing experience. Now he’s practicising new ways and exploring new aspects in life. He is freeing out of his gridlocks and expanding in so many ways.
    Petrea and her team and truly amazing and I urge men in particular to grant themselves permission to give time and space to themselves in a nurturing, safe and supportive environment, just like my partner did.

    • Jennifer Tucker

      How did you manage to get him to something like this . I too am married to a man who practices law and as I am sure you would understand experiences life through lawyers eyes.. I would love him to make some changes in his life – particularly in relation to his career . If you have any tips please share.

      • Hi Jennifer

        I understand and you’re not alone with this experience. Recently, another friend of mine married to a Barrister was in tears because her husband just doesn’t see his behaviour as unreasonable! He had a brilliant defence in facts, but completely removed from feelings, as is the legal training!

        The law can shape people in a different way than other professions by virtue of the practice. Especially highly trained and skilled practitioners who only pay attention to facts and evidence which works well in negotiations, court and chambers, but not so much in family life.

        A focus on facts denies the partner and family a healthy dynamic, as facts won’t let feelings in, leading to frustration, anger, blame,distancing and making people wrong. My partner kept building a case for facts (him) versus feelings (me) creating a tense, adversarial environment. Given that environments shape behaviour, the legal system can be a tough environment, especially if exposed to it on a daily basis.

        I’d suggest talking with Petrea. That’s what I did and then presented the information to my partner. It was his choice whether to do it or not and I had to wait patiently for him to reach a decision based on what was true for him. He was certainly in his pain body and ready to explore new ways to behave.

        I used constructive language to help him articulate what was going on, providing insights that triggered him to question his behaviour and on a deeper level led to wonder about his purpose and true self. For example, I used “pain body” and does this “behaviour serve you?” “you;re building a case against me” and it seems you might be “seeking happiness externally” as ways to help identify what was happening. I also discovered that often he would sub consciously build a “case” and attract conflict just so he could exercise his skill, it became second nature to him and addictive. As Petrea teaches, if this is your second nature,then what is your first, and true nature?

        Importantly, I had to explain to my partner that Quest for Life isn’t about cancer patients alone, it’s about providing a bridge for anyone experiencing their ‘pain body’ to understand their behaviours and learn techniques and ways to be mindful and present rather than being “somewhere else” and always looking for what or who’s next. Petrea and her team were extraordinary in making my partner, who was used to fine dining, rugby and political banter and the 12 or so other men on the retreat with him to explore, heal and find new ways to be in the present moment without even a hint of sarcasm or “tokenism”, other than the occasional dig about the pub being just up the road. The environment and facilitators brought out the best in these men and my partner came back supportive, reflective, calm and with many things to process and consider.

        And the wonderful thing is, we are all learning and exploring. I learnt about myself through his experience, how I react, behave and view my life. We found ways to have some shared experiences, like connecting with nature on walks, and quiet reflection together. We are on a discovery in a different way to forging a career or raising a family, even though we are both doing that as well. This experience is shaping us, and now it’s up to both of us to continually define and embrace the learnings into daily practice. Add it’s fun and rewarding. We now have a quiet knowing we both share.

        I wish you all the very best. And yes, it is possible. Sometimes the ‘old’ has to breakdown for the ‘new’ to emerge. Trust that too.


  2. I effectively support people affected by cancer. ACCEPTing people/situations, our bodies and most importantly accepting feelings and emotions. With “the LifeLine Technique” ~ which is content free ~ we harmonise subconscious emotional patterns of re-action, which bring about dis-ease in our mind and body. For more information please refer to our website
    Yours in Peace & Wellbeing.

  3. law

    It’s actually a nice and useful piece of information.
    I am happy that you just shared this helpful information with us.
    Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  4. I had the privilege of meeting Petrea King through a cancer patient I had cared for, many years ago. Just her presence was enough to inspire me and those who met her. She reminds me of all the soothing colours in a spring garden.
    We are blessed to have some one like her in Australia.
    A modern saint indeed.


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