picture of a woman holding a bouquet of flowers
 Apr 16, 2024

Our wide range of wellness program help patients to thrive

Last month we held our Wellness Centre Relaunch, celebrating the Centre reopening five days a week, and informing patients and staff about the wellness and supportive care services available.

Geoffrey Goddard, who attended the relaunch, has oesophageal cancer and is being treated with chemotherapy and surgery. He has found using wellness programs help him maintain a positive mindset.

“When I was diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus I decided I needed to adopt a positive attitude, and it has been constantly reinforced by Austin Health and the Olivia Newton-John Wellness Centre,” he says.

Geoffrey has received care from – among others – a cancer care nurse coordinator, anesthetist, dietician and exercise physiologist. “It has been a revelation and a comfort to learn how much multi-disciplinary support is available for cancer patients."

Dr Ashley Bigaran, Operations Manager of Wellness and Supportive Care, explains the wide range of services are tailored patients’ individual needs. "We focus on person-centred, holistic cancer care. Our evidence-informed therapies address the physical, emotional and spiritual needs people may experience following a difficult cancer diagnosis. Individuals can actively participate in their own journey, enabling them to maintain control, even when facing challenging circumstances.”

As part of Geoffrey’s cancer treatment, he needed to have surgery – something he felt apprehensive about. But through the centre’s community, Geoffrey has met other patients who have had surgery and are now thriving, which he found hugely reassuring.

“The support I am receiving from Austin Health and the ONJ Centre is helping to give me the confidence I need to remain positive about the future,” he says.

The ONJ Centre was the first cancer hospital in Australia to combine cancer treatment and wellness programs, such as exercise physiology, psychology, massage, acupuncture, art therapy and music therapy, fulfilling Olivia Newton-John’s vision for a holistic approach to cancer treatment. 


Geoffrey on the bike