A pioneer in the cancer field: Cancer Council Victoria mourns passing of Dame Olivia Newton-John

Tuesday 9 August, 2022

Cancer Council Victoria acknowledges the life of Dame Olivia Newton-John and her dedication to cancer awareness, research and advocacy.

Since her own breast cancer diagnosis over 30 years ago, Olivia’s vision and work as an activist for better treatment and research has left a legacy that will continue to improve the lives of people affected by cancer. Her work in establishing the Olivia Newton-John Foundation, along with the ONJ Cancer Research Institute, and ONJ Cancer Wellness and Research Centre, has offered people undergoing cancer treatment world-leading treatment and care alongside access to breakthrough therapies.

Cancer Council Victoria CEO, Todd Harper AM, reflected on Olivia’s role in advancing cancer research, treatment and care.

“Olivia was a pioneer in the cancer field and her work provided inspiration for many. Her advocacy enabled the work of dedicated scientists advancing scientific discoveries and offered hope to many affected by a cancer diagnosis.

“She led the focus on wellness and the importance of physical, emotional and spiritual support not only for the person going through a cancer diagnosis but their carers, families and friends. Olivia’s impact can’t be overstated, and her legacy will continue in the work of world-leading research, treatment and care. Vale Olivia.”

We know that Olivia’s impact is far reaching, and this can bring up questions and emotions for those affected by cancer. Anyone who needs support or to talk to someone about cancer can call our Cancer Council support line on 13 11 20 and talk to our experienced cancer nurses.


Media Contact: Natalie Kaplan, natalie.kaplan@cancervic.org.au 0409 566 533

Ryan Fritz, ryan.fritz@cancervic.org.au 0413 728 626  

About Cancer Council Victoria

Cancer Council Victoria is a non-profit cancer organisation dedicated to world-leading cancer research, prevention, and support since our establishment in 1936. Our mission is to prevent cancer, empower people and save lives.

Find out more at www.cancervic.org.au

Cancer Facts and Figures in Victoria

  • Cancer is the leading cause of disease burden in Victoria. There were 34,712 Victorians diagnosed with cancer in 2020.
  • On average, 95 Victorians are diagnosed with cancer every day, or 1 Victorian every 15 minutes.
  • 11,360 Victorians died from cancer in 2020. That’s on average 31 deaths every day or more than 1 every hour.
  • The 5 most common cancers in Victoria are: lung, prostate, melanoma, breast, and bowel, accounting for 56% of all new cases and 51% of all cancer deaths.