Olivia Newton-John Newton-John is the granddaughter of Max Born, a German Nobel prize-winning physicist who fled from 1930s Germany with his wife in order to avoid persecution due to their partly Jewish heritage (although Olivia herself is a Christian). Olivia's father, Brin Newton-John, originally from Wales, was an MI5 officer attached to the Enigma machine project at Bletchley Park, and the officer who took Rudolf Hess into custody when he parachuted into Scotland in May 1941. After World War II, he became a professor of German at the UNSW annex at Tighes Hill.
In 1954, at the age of five, Newton-John, her parents Brin and Irene, and her older siblings Hugh and Rona, relocated to Melbourne, Australia, where her father had taken a job at Melbourne University as the Dean of Ormond College. Her parents divorced when she was eleven years old.