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February 24, 2024

A voice for koalas: Vale Olivia Newton-John

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The Rainforest Information Centre has expressed its deep condolences to the family and close friends of Olivia Newton-John who was literally the voice of the koala.

Spokesperson Susie Russell says the Rainforest Information Centre remembers Olivia as a staunch warrior for the rights of nature. ‘She believed passionately in wanting the destruction of our forests to stop. She loved and appreciated koalas, and was worried about their future. She supported civil disobedience to try and stop the destruction.

In 2002, Olivia starred in a film by the Rainforest Information Centre: On The Brink.

The film also featured Jack Thompson, and the three Davids – Attenborough, Suzuki and Bellamy.

The story tells of four iconic animals, Tiger Quoll, Masked Owl, Yellow-bellied Glider and Koala, on the brink of extinction, who decide to try and save their forests homes.

Olivia the voice of the Koala

Olivia Newton-John was the voice behind Koala in the Rainforest Information Centre film On The Brink.

Olivia was the voice of Koala in the film and Jack Thompson was Tiger Quoll.

The film was shown in the lead-up to the 2003 NSW election, when then Premier Bob Carr did indeed promise to protect some significant areas of forest. Unfortunately, the sweetener for the logging industry was that they could log the rest for another 20 years.

‘Until now,’ says Ms Russell. ‘Time’s Up. And now it really needs to stop.

No surveys have been done to see which animals survived the catastrophic bushfires of 2019/20. We don’t know how many colonies of koalas were wiped out. We don’t know how many gliders burned in their tree hollows.

‘The Covid pandemic took the spotlight away from the tragedy that had just happened. And while no-one was looking logging got underway again. So sadly, the film is still current. For koalas and all the other animals, the situation is even direr.’

Glossy Black Cockatoo now in danger

Ms Russell says that just last Tuesday (August 9, 2022) the Glossy Black Cockatoo was added to the list of animals in danger of extinction. ‘Last month it was the Greater Glider. The list will continue to grow. Unless we all do something.

‘If Olivia were alive and well she would be speaking for the trees. It is with deep gratitude for her generous life that we honour her by urging all her fans to find out about something she held dear.

‘Watch and share our quirky video. Listen to Koala.’

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