Healing Hands, Unsung Voices Anthology



What was the world of Geelong's  legendary Thomas Ambrose Bowen (1916-1982) really like? What do those who flocked to him  have to say about his talent to "fix them" when credentialed and envious others failed? Step into Tom's  time - the '40s to early '80s, brought alive by the memory of touch and  his attentive, but no-fuss presence.  Meet his grateful patients and Rene Horwood, loyal clinic organiser and enduring ally to the end.  There's Ron Garner, a forgotten comate till now who stops awhile bringing gifts of  White Magic.  Be surprised at what's in store and what three of his professional apprentices Drs.Neave, Smeeton and Ryan reveal about Tom's healing hands and the unsung finesse at the heart of his work. Former politician Rod Mackenzie, OAM shows us the parliamentary gates that opened to the cold, regulatory winds of change that robbed Tom of  due recognition for his life's accomplishments. With Heather, a daughter's insight; join sister Agnes in childhood and at the end for a forbidden cigarette. Finally, a second leg amputation courted by the cause of his untimely death.  

Healing Hands, Unsung Voices is a celebratory centennial anthology in memory of a gifted and exceptional human being. The book was launched on April 17th a special gathering at Moongate Studios. (Videos on the Tom Bowen Centennial page) Present were  those who contributed their recollections, former patients, clinic associates, family, friends and supporters.  


Where to obtain your copy 

Healing Hands, Unsung Stories is available through a wide range of online distributors, including Amazon, Fishpond, Booktopia, Book Depository, Angus and Robertson, Wordery, Alibris, Wisepress and Readings.

For Australian and Geelong/ local buyers, a small stock is available for direct purchase. You can contact Shirley Strachan book author  
(HealingHands@allbowentherapyworldwide.com) about 
price and postage/pickup.



Healing Hands, Unsung Stories is the result of a year long oral history project conducted between December 2014 and December 2015.  Over 50 accounts were gathered from former patients, clinic associates, family and friends providing first hand accounts of Tom Bowen and his several Geelong clinics that operated informally prior to 1959 and formally between 1959-1982.

These stories give an authentic portrayal of Tom the therapist, his clinic world, his personality, what the treatments were like, and the positive effect his work had on people from all walks of life who sought out his help.

Tom Bowen ran a day clinic, a clinic for footballers, and a clinic for children with disabilities. He also held a Sunday morning clinic for doctors and police officers. He treated people from Geelong and visitors from other parts of Victoria and further afield around Australia.


Do you have a story about Tom Bowen?

Though the celebratory 2016 Anthology is now completed, if you are, or if you know someone who was a patient of Tom Bowen then your story, however great or small, is welcome to be recorded for posterity:  further research is underway. Provision for anonymity is available if preferred. Many enlightening and interesting accounts have already come forward through the promotion and support of the RSL, senior citizens clubs, bowling clubs, football clubs and through word of mouth via other community channels.