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Petrea King

Women + Wellbeing: Interview with Petrea King

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With a personal philosophy that crisis can be an opportunity for positive change, Petrea King is a woman that walks the talk, and helps thousands of women become their best selves.
Photo credit: Ben Dearnley

CEO of the Quest for Life Foundation, Petrea King has many other feathers in her cap – she’s a well-known author, inspirational keynote speaker, teacher and facilitator, as well as a qualified naturopath, herbalist, clinical hypnotherapist, yoga and meditation teacher. 

Awards-wise, she’s received the Advance Australia Award, Citizen of the Year and the Centenary Medal for her contribution to the community and has been consistently nominated for Australian of the Year since 2003 and was NSW finalist for Senior Australian of the Year in 2011. 

For Petrea, wellbeing is our ability to embrace every moment regardless of its challenges, with a quiet mind and an open heart, free of judgement. 

“We can become so distracted by the constancy and rapidity of change and the many mobile and online communications coming at us that we forget to nurture, nourish and replenish ourselves. We lose connection to our own inner sense of things and react moment by moment, just to survive,” she says. 

Petrea says women have the unique capacity to tap into our inner intuitive silence and bring forth wisdom, humour, insight, creativity and compassion for ourselves, our loved ones and our communities.

The tools she teaches to other women to live their best life, and enjoy wellbeing, have been the keys to her own health and wellbeing, from an early age. Not long after her brother died by suicide, Petrea was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia and was not expected to live. 

“My children were four and seven years old. Working through this tough time, a large part of my emotional healing involved meditation and actively working through the feelings I’d suppressed since childhood and the limiting beliefs and anxieties I’d accumulated,” she says. 

This is when she realised that crisis can become a catalyst for personal growth and understanding, and provides an incredible opportunity for healing and peace. 

“I’m not suggesting that waking up and learning to live our life consciously is an easy thing to do. But we do know through neuroplasticity that the brain is constantly changing. Every day we create 700 brand new neurons from the hippocampus, ready to be used. 

We can consciously choose to change our thoughts to those that move us forward to better health and happiness,” she says.

She was told that her remission from cancer was both unexpected and unlikely to last. With Marcus Blackmore’s encouragement, Petrea started her holistic approach to assisting other people with life-threatening illnesses. 

This then evolved into her treating people who were struggling with some grief, abuse, loss or trauma in their lives and many people with depression, anxiety, other mental health issues, domestic violence, relationship breakdowns, post-trauma stress (PTSD) – most of which she’s experienced herself. 

Finding Hope Within with Petrea King

“In 1989 I established the Quest for Life Foundation, a registered charity, then in 1998, Quest purchased the Quest for Life Centre, a beautiful guesthouse on 9 acres in Bundanoon, NSW. This is where our programs are conducted,” she says. 

Given she’s around a lot of women facing mental and physical health issues or crises, Petrea is often asked whether she gets drained. 

“I’m diligent in my own intention to live consciously which entails doing all the things I’d recommend to any other woman. Don’t wait for a crisis to start looking after yourself!”

This work with so many thousands of women suffering with anguish from so many causes, highlights the importance of events like International Women’s Day, and awards like the Blackmores Mercie Whellan Women+Wellbeing Awards

“We’ve come a long way in the movement toward women having an equal voice in all arenas of life. These events celebrate extraordinary women for their achievements as well as draw attention to the continued need to push for gender parity. We must pursue a collaborative agenda in all areas of life so that the balance of women’s perspectives and innate capacities is realized,” she says. 

There are still enormous gaps, and Petrea says men’s voices are still by far the loudest and most heard. 

“Women bring a unique perspective to the table, and we represent half the population. Until our perspective is considered, and helps shape our world, we can’t reasonably expect true change. Every day should be IWD until gender parity is met,” rel="noopener noreferrer" she says.

International Women’s Day #PressforProgess is Thursday 8th March 2018