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Olivia Newton-John Cancer Centre

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About Us

The Olivia Newton-John Cancer & Wellness Centre is a leading cancer centre that is committed to providing exceptional medical treatment, along with evidence-based wellness and supportive care programs.

Continuing Olivia’s legacy, our goal is to support every person with cancer to have access to wellness programs which treat the mind, body and spirit, by fundraising for Dry July, you are helping to ensure the continuation of wellness and supportive care programs at the ONJ Centre, which are not government funded.

These programs are designed to provide cancer patients with the support, information, and strategies they need throughout their cancer experience. Our programs include oncology massage, art and music therapy, psychology, specialised exercise, individual nursing consultations and information and supportive group programs. Over 11,000 consultations have been provided to our cancer patients in 2023.

Wellness is different for everyone, and no two cancer experiences are the same, which means personalised wellness plans enable patients to feel empowered by having information and choice in decision making at a time when they feel uncertain and lack control in their lives.

Going Dry this July will help ensure patients continue to receive ongoing, essential support from the specialised wellness practitioners so that they thrive through their cancer experience.

Latest Updates


Strength, Resilience, and Hope: The Impact of Exercise Wellness Programs on ONJ Centre Cancer Patients

Exercise services offered at the ONJ Centre’s Wellness Gym are vital to strengthening the mind, body, and spirit of patients with a cancer diagnosis.

The exercise programs assist patients through individually tailored and group exercise sessions that meet their current fitness levels. These programs and exercises are designed to build and restore strength, resilience, and hope in patients throughout their cancer treatment, and form an integral part of their weekly routine.

Senior Physiotherapists at the ONJ Centre, Clare O’Donell and Kristen Capron, worked on an educational video titled ‘VidEx’, which promotes and endorses exercise throughout the course of cancer treatment for those with a recent cancer diagnosis.

Kristen says, “In my opinion, exercise helps people do the things that they enjoy in life and live their best life regardless of having a cancer diagnosis”.

Medical Oncologist, Dr Belinda Yeo adds, “exercise in the setting of a diagnosis of cancer improves your survival and anything we can do that not only helps the patient live better but live longer is important”.

These exercise programs not only improve patients’ physical health, but also positively impact their mental health and overall quality of life. Physiotherapy aims to improve patients’ flexibility and mobility, enabling them to overcome the challenges and setbacks of cancer and surgery.

“Exercise can save your life. Cancer is a diagnosis, it doesn’t have to be the rest of your life”, says ONJ Centre Consumer Atlanti.

Exercise programs at the ONJ Wellness Gym are only made possible thanks to our incredible Dry July’ers! We are deeply grateful for the difference you make to the lives of our patients and their families.

Watch the VidEx Video: Exercise at the Olivia Newton-John Centre 

Your Dry July fundraising in 2022 has helped patients living with cancer continue to have access to our world class wellness therapies at the ONJ Centre

Our Wellness Team supports patients’ body, mind, and soul alongside their medical treatment.

Through the 2022 Dry July fundraising campaign, $60,000 was raised for exercise physiology programs at the Wellness Gym and for Psychology services provided at the ONJ Centre.

The exercise physiology team has worked diligently to increase the visibility and credibility of the Wellness Gym at the ONJ Centre, and the efforts put in have provided an environment for the service to flourish. Referral to the Wellness Gym is part of the ongoing conversation with patients, clinical staff, and doctors.

Given that the Wellness Gym is still in its growth stage, the message about exercise physiology is clear and we need to continue fostering this message to ensure that referral to exercise physiology becomes part of routine cancer care for all patients treated at the ONJ Centre. Thanks to you, Dry July fundraising has enabled this to happen. Moving towards full recommencement of services, we saw a proportional increase in all exercise physiology-driven services.

In 2022/2023 (to date), we had 725 new referrals (35% increase from 2021/2022), and 506 patients used the wellness gym. Our team performed 388 initial consultations, 509 in-person follow-up consultations, 400 in-person group classes, and 1,400 patients attended our in-person group classes.

Since 2021, the visibility and credibility of the Wellness Gym has significantly increased and this is certainly a result of clinical and research collaborations and expanding service provisions/focuses, which includes geri-oncology and enhanced pre-rehabilitation for individuals embarking on high-risk cancer surgery.

“To all you wonderful exercise physiologists, regular exercise was the missing ingredient that each of you helped replace" - Patient.

"I had the best time working with your team. One of the most prominent moments for me was when you casually suggested that I learn to play tennis on the opposite side. You helped me break through many walls and barriers I set for myself, and I started enjoying playing tennis again.’ - Patient

While we are unable to provide direct feedback from patients due to privacy and confidentially, we have seen the growth of telehealth services across the psychology services. Telehealth has remained the preferred service mode into 2022/2023. In the years 2022/2023, 169 referred outpatients benefitted from the service. We have 20 outpatients awaiting intake assessment and therapy.

The enormity of a cancer diagnosis and treatment is sometimes overwhelming to our patients. The flexibility and continued uptake of telehealth-delivered services has proved successful even following the recommencement of in-person services. People who are going through treatment often do not want to make another trip into the hospital, so this mode of service will be continuing.

Thanks to you these programs are open to every person undergoing cancer treatment. They not only improve the efficacy of cancer treatments but also brighten patients’ days, reducing stress and instilling life changing habits.

On behalf of Austin Health and the ONJ Centre – thank you for changing the lives of every patient at the ONJ Centre. 

Your 2021 Dry July fundraising has helped patients living with cancer continue to access wellness therapies at the ONJ Centre

Our Wellness Team supports patients’ body, mind and soul alongside their medical treatment.

Thanks to you, Dry July fundraising has kept our Wellness gym open and provided additional psychological support to help people cope with the enormity of cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Research has shown that exercising through cancer treatment not only helps maintain strength and energy levels, it also reduces the severity and number of side effects that are common with cancer treatment.

“Exercise has improved my energy levels, mood and given me a sense of purpose.” A wellness gym patient said.

"Your eight-week program has set me on a path to regular exercise and a healthier lifestyle. It also enabled me to stay fit during treatment, which I believe is a definite advantage." A wellness gym patient said.

Thanks to you these programs are open to every person undergoing cancer treatment. They not only improve the efficacy of cancer treatments but brightens patients’ days, reduces stress and habits learnt can be life changing.

On behalf of Austin Health and the ONJ Centre – thank you for changing the lives of every patient at the ONJ Centre.


The ONJ Centre can continue to run their incredible Exercise Wellness program thanks to your Dry July fundraising this year

Your fundraising for Dry July has enabled the ONJ Centre to support the continuation of our Exercise Wellness Program and our Clinical Psychology Service.

Every day we hear from patients who have participated in one of the programs, and their comments are always extremely positive.

Lori Crupi was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome in 2016. Lori’s Crupi’s world became one of chemotherapy, immunotherapy and weekly blood transfusions. Unfortunately, Lori’s treatment stopped being effective and she was left with one last option to save her life – a stem cell transplant.

A drastic treatment where all the bone marrow cells in her body had to be destroyed and replaced with healthy donor bone marrow cells, Lori needed to build up her fitness before she could qualify for this treatment.

“My body was tired and frail. By beginning a special exercise program l could take control over my physical strength. I could build it up to a point where l would be strong enough to have my life-saving stem cell transplant. My exercise program in the Wellness Gym was the turning point for me. It gave me new physical and mental strength, giving me and my family hope.

I felt less tired. I felt safe in the expert care of specialist oncology exercise physiologists. It became my happy place, a place where l could feel some control over my cancer and hope for my future. It opened up my last treatment option – a stem cell transplant” - Lori Crupi

Your impact is significant. Thank you.

Every dollar you raise for the ONJ Centre truly makes a world of difference to the lives of people living with cancer

Diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome in 2016, Lori Crupi’s treatments, unfortunately, stopped being effective and she was left with one last option to save her life - a stem cell transplant. A drastic treatment where all the bone marrow cells in her body had to be destroyed and replaced with healthy donor bone marrow cells, Lori needed to build up her fitness before she could qualify for this treatment.

“My body was tired and frail. By beginning a special exercise program, I could take control over my physical strength. I could build it up to a point where I would be strong enough to have my life-saving stem cell transplant. My exercise program in the Wellness Gym was the turning point for me. It gave me new physical and mental strength, giving me and my family hope. I felt less tired. I felt safe in the expert care of specialist oncology exercise physiologists. It became my happy place, a place where I could feel some control over my cancer and hope for my future. It opened up my last treatment option – a stem cell transplant.” - Lori Crupi

Penelope Sandersson, Divisional Manager Integrated Cancer Services, has seen first hand the impacts of the funds raised for Lori and so many other patients. "Funding from Dry July has made a big difference for the Wellness centre. Facilities like the on-site exercise gym literally changes people's lives and makes things that seem impossible, possible," Penny says.

Thank you for your support this July, we are so grateful!

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