Olivia Newton-John’s family has been offered a state funeral in Australia. Olivia Newton-John’s niece, Tottie Goldsmith, said on Monday that the family plans to accept the offer. The Grease star died at age 73.
Goldsmith, the daughter of Olivia Newton-John‘s late sister, Rona, who died after a battle with brain cancer in 2013, said that Newton-John’s family plans to accept the offer to have her buried in Australia. She explained that they believe Australia needs her and that she was loved by many people.
According to the Department of the Premier and Cabinet Strategic Engagement and Protocol, a state funeral is “arranged and funded by the Government held to honor prominent people (usually high-ranking public officials) who have given long and outstanding service to the State.” Exact details of the funeral have yet to be announced.
The offer for a state funeral was extended by premier of the Australian state of Victoria, Daniel Andrews, who confirmed the offer to News.com.au. Andrews said that the government will offer a state funeral to celebrate Newton-John’s “amazing contributions,” including her music and film careers.
“She took her cancer journey and used that to save lives and change lives, and that’s just a deeply impressive thing,” Andrews told the outlet. “The research that’s done there [at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research 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.”
Newton-John, who was born in Melbourne, Australia and moved to the United States when she was six years old, passed away on Monday morning following a long battle with cancer. Her husband, John Easterling, confirmed her death in a note shared to Newton-John’s Instagram account, remembering her as “a symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years sharing her journey with breast cancer.”
After Newton-John’s death, many Australian landmarks were lit up in pink in memory of the performer. This included Optus Stadium in Perth, Flinders Street railway station in Melbourne, and The Sydney Opera House. Andrews said that this gesture was made “to remember Olivia Newton John and her enormous contribution to cancer awareness, research and treatment.”
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