The Age reports
Residents in Heidelberg and Ivanhoe will be doing double-takes at their front gates when Olivia Newton-John leads a 4-kilometre walk through local streets.
On Sunday September 15, the star of Grease will lead her first charity walk in Australia, to raise money for her Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre.
She is inviting the public to walk with her from the shops in Upper Heidelberg Road, Ivanhoe, to the cancer centre at the Austin Hospital near Heidelberg station, then back to Ivanhoe, where there will be a street party.
Ivanhoe traders are jubilant after failing for five years to lure Newton-John to appear at their annual street festival in May.
Instead Newton-John will lead the Wellness Walk, in which participants will pay up to $30 to enter and can also be sponsored.
"We are very, very, excited to be a partner in this," said Ivanhoe Traders Association spokesman Stavros Zikou.
"I think everyone's in shock about the fact Olivia is not only coming to our shopping centre, but how big this event is going to be."
Helena Mikletic, owner of Issa gift shop in Ivanhoe, who was 11 when Grease came out and used to mime to the music, said: "I'm just thrilled. I think it's wonderful. It's exciting for me personally. I'm a big fan of Olivia's and always have been."
"I've always wanted to meet her. I think she has a lot of fans in Ivanhoe, particularly because of the association with the new cancer centre."
Speaking to Fairfax Media from Los Angeles, Newton-John said the route was yet to be confirmed but it would start at 11am. At the finish, she may, or may not, perform. There would be celebrity appearances and a yoga class.
She said if anyone was surprised to see her walking down their street, "I'm hoping they'll join in the walk. It will be like the Pied Piper".
She said it was fine if people on the walk wanted to talk to her but it wasn't a fan fest. "People should take part because I think everybody in the world is touched by cancer in some way, a family member; a friend, or a friend of a friend."
It would be a lot less strenuous than her 228km, 21 day, trek along the Great Wall of China in 2008. That walk, which raised $2 million for the cancer centre, featured a portable toilet, extreme weather and excruciatingly steep paths.
"That Wall is unbelievable, it's kind of straight up, so after the first day you don't know how you're ever going to walk again.""
On September 20 Newton-John will open the second and final stage of the Cancer and Wellness Centre, including two new inpatient wards, a palliative care ward named after her late mother, Irene Newton-John, and two new research floors.
The building aspect is paid-for by the government but money from the Wellness Walk would go towards the $1 million needed each year to run the Centre's programs such as yoga, counselling, nutrition, art therapy and massage.
She said walks were great fundraisers because they were social, healthy and didn't require dressing up.
She hopes it will be an annual event. One day she wants to do a walk in Australia on the scale of the Great Wall walk. "It's my dream. We'll make happen one day."
To register for the Wellness Walk, go to www.oliviaappeal.com.