Grand stage set for Olivia

Olivia Newton-John has been Australia's musical sweetheart for more than 40 years.

Grand stage set for Olivia

Grand stage set for Olivia

A tireless crusader for charity, Olivia is back in Melbourne to raise money for her cancer and wellness centre.

She will also take to the stage to sing the national anthem at the AFL Grand Final, and has admitted it is one performance that makes her nervous.

She has sung to packed out stadiums and adoring crowds, but she knows the grand final is a whole other ball game.

"There's a lot of excitement in the air, a lot of anticipation. It's very exciting to be a part of that," she told 7News presenter Jennifer Keyte.

It is not the first time Olivia has sung the national anthem to a huge crowd.

She performed in front of more than 100,000 spectators in 1986 when Hawthorn trounced her beloved Blues.

But she admits the AFL Grand Final is one gig that makes her nervous.

"It's a Melbourne thing," she said. I grew up in Jolimont. I lived there with my mum when I was a little girl and we used to hear the crowds scream every Saturday. You'd hear the shouts and it was very exciting."

Olivia's role as Sandy in Grease endeared her to millions around the world.

But it was her public battle with breast cancer in 1992, and her mission to help other sufferers, where she showed her true spirit.

"There's a club. It's not a club you want to be part of, but once you're apart of it, there's a camaraderie in it and an understanding that comes between you," she explained.

Three years ago, the Olivia Newton John cancer and wellness centre at the Austin Hospital opened.

It's a sanctuary where cancer patients receive acupuncture, massage and music therapy, alongside traditional medical treatments.

"The wonderful thing is, we've had such great support from the public, because the wellness programs have to be funded by the public at the moment," Olivia said.

"I'm hoping that the Government will eventually see the benefits that we're giving and will give us funding."

Olivia is back in Melbourne to raise funds for the centre.

She'll host a gala tonight and lead the 'Wellness Walk' through the streets of Ivanhoe at the end of the month.

"I'm no expert about it, but I know what I went through and I know what helped me," she said. "I wanted to provide those services for people who are going through it."

For more information about the Wellness Walk on September 28, visit the Olivia Appeal websiter.

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