Our philosophy and vision for the future

Partnering with a community-driven founding champion whose philosophy closely aligned with our own was essential to achieving our vision. From the time Dame Olivia Newton-John became that champion, it was clear that her passion for incorporating wellness into cancer care was the driving force we needed.

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A philosophy of wellness

As a cancer thriver, Dame Olivia Newton-John drew strength from complementary therapies that improved her wellbeing and maintained her positive spirit. With a champion who has a commitment to care and wellbeing, it was only natural that wellness became the guiding principle behind our philosophy.

Turning vision into reality

There has been a treatment centre on our site since Heidelberg House was opened in 1939. Fittingly, it was also the location of Zeltner Hall, which was opened in 1917 thanks to funds from philanthropist Meyer Zeltner. It was created as a venue for movies, performances and religious services for patients. The original plans for the design called for it to be ‘handsome in design’, and there was an emphasis on it providing a space to encourage positivity. This building is now, of course, our Wellness Centre and our philosophy of ‘handsome design’ and wellbeing continues 100 years later.

The ONJ Centre was first opened in 2012 as the result of a combination of government and philanthropic support, as well as donations from 200,000 members of the public totalling $17 million. From the outset, the concept of patient-centred comprehensive care was integrated into the structure itself. Wards sit metres from research labs and wellness was fundamental in guiding the design of the Centre. This comes together to create a space that supports patients and ensures that breakthrough research is trialled and applied effectively and efficiently.

Caring for your wellbeing

We provide a broad range of complementary therapies to help our patients live better with cancer and defeat it.

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Olivia's story

Learn about Olivia Newton-John's commitment to wellness and why she became our founding champion.

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A focus on the future

The ONJ Centre is committed to improving the lives of patients, both now and in the future. This focus on the future can be seen in our leading treatment facilities and pioneering clinical trials. Our dedication to advancing medicine for future generations was furthered in 2015, when the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute, in partnership with La Trobe University, established the La Trobe School of Cancer Medicine.

We help further Austin Health’s educational excellence by training medical researchers and translating our breakthrough research into clinical practice. Through our partnerships and productive collaboration, the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre is continuing to provide the most modern, innovative and comprehensive patient-centred care in the country. 


We need your support

From the outset our vision has been focused on patient care, innovation and the community. It is through the support of philanthropists and members of the public that we are able to provide our patients with the unique Centre we have today. This support is based in 100 years of donation and community involvement. And to continue our world-leading research, treatment and wellness programs we still need your help. Your support ensures further breakthrough discoveries while also providing an environment in which every patient, family member and carer is supported and treated as an individual.

Ways to help