State Memorial Service Honoring Olivia Newton-John Announced

A State Memorial Service to honour internationally acclaimed singer, actor and philanthropist Dame Olivia Newton-John AC DBE will be held at 4pm Sunday 26 February at Hamer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne.
Dame Olivia Newton-John (photo: Michelle Day)

A State Memorial Service to honor internationally acclaimed singer, actor and philanthropist, and longtime LGBTQ ally Dame Olivia Newton-John AC DBE will be held at 4pm on Sunday, February 26 at Hamer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne.

Dame Olivia passed away on August 8, 2022 at the age of 73 after her lengthy journey with cancer.

The free, ticketed service is being planned in close consultation with representatives of the Newton-John family with special tributes from family and friends, including a musical performance by Delta Goodrem.

I understand events like these in the past have been live-streamed for those who can’t attend in person.

Daniel Andrews, Premier of Victoria, said in a statement:

“Dame Olivia Newton-John was an inspiration to many around the world – her work in cancer research and treatment saved lives and changed lives and her music was the soundtrack to a generation.”

“We know Victorians are eager to celebrate the life of a driving force in medical research and an icon of film and music, with a service befitting her international acclaim.”

With a career spanning 6 decades, Dame Olivia became a cultural icon and the soundtrack of a generation, with hits such as “I Honestly Love You”, “You’re the One That I Want” and “Physical.” The blockbuster movie musical Grease earned Dame Newton-John a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Motion Picture (Musical/Comedy). Additionally, her films Xanadu and Sordid Lives have become cult favorites.

Among her numerous entertainment industry achievements are: 28 studio albums and 6 live albums, 4 Grammy awards, 10 American Music Awards, 9 Billboard Awards, a Daytime Emmy Award, Female Vocalist of the Year at the Country Music Association Awards, numerous #1 hits, and more than 100 million records sold worldwide.

Dame Olivia leaves an incredible legacy, not only through her work on the stage and screen, but also as a philanthropist and advocate.

Following her diagnosis of breast cancer in 1992, Dame Olivia was one of the first celebrities to bring awareness and help raise research funds for cancer treatments. She also promoted the benefits of early detection and wellness.

In 2012, Dame Olivia partnered with Austin Health in Melbourne, to establish the Olivia Newton-John Wellness and Research Centre (ONJWRC). The centre offers treatment, education, training and research, and features a dedicated wellness space for mind, body and spirit, helping thousands of people.

She also founded National Tree Day in Australia and established the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, which sponsors global research into plant medicine to help find kinder treatments for cancer.

At the request of Dame Olivia’s family, memorial tributes may be made in the form of contributions to the Wellness Programs at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness and Research Centre.

The Service will be free but ticketed in line with the capacity of Hamer Hall. Members of the public must register to attend with ticket registrations opening at 12 pm on Friday 10 February 2023.