Tom Bowen Legacy Trust Fund

The Tom Bowen Legacy Trust Fund was formed in 2003 in honour of the late Tom Bowen, a remarkable man whose unique approach to the complementary health field brought comfort to hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world.

Tom Bowen initially started his clinic from his friend Rene Horwood's house in Geelong, Victoria in 1957. Originally, this was in the evenings after they had both finished working at their day jobs (Tom worked at the local cement works and Rene had her own hairdressing salon) . They would often work into the early hours of the morning, often treating clients for free. Sometimes they would work right through the night, traveling to make house calls to sick children, then go back to their respective homes and get ready for the next day’s work. They worked like this for many years before they started to accept donations for their services.

Eventually they moved into premises at 99 Latrobe Terrace and began to run their clinic full time. Typically, Tom would treat up to 65 people per day in the clinic and then they would go off to do the home visits. Sometimes they had in excess of 100 people per day, and children were always treated for free.

Tom’s own granddaughter suffered from a disability and died at an early age. In her memory, Tom ran a free clinic for children with disabilities, twice a month on Saturday mornings. Under his and Rene’s care and guidance, many children had an improved quality of life. Tom devoted his life to the children, who often called him ‘Uncle Tom’.

After Tom Bowen passed away in 1982, Dr Romney Smeeton and Dr Kevin Ryan ran his Saturday morning children’s clinic on a monthly basis for a further 12 years. Typically, the children presented with conditions such as polio, cerebral palsy, paraplegia, quadriplegia, spina bifida, learning difficulties, asthma and many more.

So far, some of the donations that have been made include wheelchairs, sensory equipment, lifting equipment and mobility aids. Each year at both the BTFA and BAA AGMs, a presentation is made to an eligible candidate.

Formation of the Tom Bowen Legacy Trust Fund

The idea for the fund was initiated by Ron Phelan back in 2003, who had a connection with Tom's friend Rene Horwood. Mrs Horwood had indicated that the most important aspect of Tom’s work was that with his work with disadvantaged children, and this was Tom’s passion.

The Trust Fund was set up with three specific aims:

• To provide an ongoing source of funds for gifts that will improve the quality of life of children with disabilities;
• To promote public awareness of Tom Bowen's work in treating individuals with disabilities;
• To provide a model for similar organisations in other countries where Tom Bowen's work is practiced.

The Tom Bowen Legacy Trust Fund helps disadvantaged children by donating electronic communication and mobility aids to those in need. This fund is supported by donations from Bowen practitioners and members of the public. With volunteer administration, 100 per cent of your donations support the purchasing of equipment to improve the lives of disadvantaged children.

Please contact our head office if you would like to make a donation via our online Contact Form.


A former client describes a visit to Tom Bowen's clinic in the 1970s