Olivia Newton-John to Be Honored With Australian State Funeral

by Chris Piner

Although the news of Olivia Newton-John passing away caused many to remember her life and career, her legacy as a singer, actress, and mother continues all over the world. Not only have numerous celebrities showered the late star with love, but it appears Australia will also take time to celebrate her life and fame. 

Speaking with A Current Affair recently, Tottie Goldsmith, Olivia Newton-John’s niece, revealed an offer to her family to host a formal state funeral by the nation. Planning to accept the gracious offer, Goldsmith said, “We will, on behalf of not just our family, but I think Australia needs it. I think our country needs it so we’re going to accept it.” 

John Easterling Remembers Wife Olivia Newton-John

Tottie Goldsmith is the daughter of Olivia Newton-John’s sister, Rona. Rona passed away in 2013 after battling brain cancer. Writing a heartfelt message on Instagram, her husband, John Easterling shared,  “Dame Olivia Newton-John (73) passed away peacefully at her Ranch in Southern California this morning, surrounded by family and friends. Olivia has been a symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years sharing her journey with breast cancer. Her healing inspiration and pioneering experience with plant medicine continues with the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, dedicated to researching plant medicine and cancer. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any donations be made in her memory to the @onjfoundation.”

Honoring The Star As A National Treasure

The offer for a state funeral came from Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews. Releasing his own statement on the passing of Olivia Newton-John, the Premier stated, “As for celebrating her life … her music and film and all the other amazing contributions that she made, we would, of course, want to speak to the family and be as respectful as we can. She took her cancer journey and used that to save lives and change lives, and that’s just a deeply impressive thing.”

Andrews concluded, “The research that’s done there (at the cancer and wellness centre), the treatment, the care, the love and support that is central to that place is a lasting legacy to the person that she was.”

Back in 2019, Olivia Newton-John spoke about her cancer battle with host Gayle King on CBS Sunday Morning. She admitted to coping with the disease thanks to denial. “Denial is really good. It’s really healthy. And after a time I went, you know what, I don’t know what my time is; I need to enjoy my life. So I’m going to eat a cookie. And I’m going to have a cup of tea if I want to; and if I want to have a little bit of wine, I’m going to do that because the joy of life and everyday living has to be a part of that healing process as well.”