Singer Tina Arena has been honoured on Australia Day for her work in music and her charitable endeavours.
Tina Arena is thrilled to receive her Australia Day honour, particularly as an advocate for her home country from which she launched an international career in music.
The singer has been appointed a member of the Order of Australia (AM) in recognition of her significant service to the music industry as a singer, songwriter, and recording artist, and as a supporter of charitable groups.
Having released her eleventh album last year, Eleven, Arena chose to return to her home country after almost 20 years living in Europe, mostly in Paris.
"I'm thrilled, this recognition is really lovely. I first started travelling and working abroad 30 years ago, and I've always been asked about Australia in interviews in foreign countries, and I'm such an advocate. We live in an amazing country, Australia is rich with opportunities and as cliche as it sounds anything is possible," Arena said.
The singer, who was born to Italian parents in Australia, is one of the country's highest selling artists, with more than eight million album sales. She rocketed to fame at age eight on the TV show Young Talent Time, on which she performed for almost seven years before forging a solo career, releasing her first album in 1977.
In 1994, Arena released the album Don't Ask which became a global hit thanks to her massive hit single Chains.
Since then Arena has opened the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, performed the national anthem in Paris when Cadel Evans won the Tour de France, has become a multiple ARIA award winner and was recently inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame.
In 2009, Arena became the first Australian to be honoured with a French Knighthood of the Order of National Merit, presented by then French president Nicolas Sarkozy.
"Who would have thought an Australian-born girl from immigrant working-class parents would end up here, I'm very fortunate to call Australia my home and so proud to be playing a small role in promoting our country to the world," Arena said.
The singer has used her fame to help several causes and is a patron to two charities in Australia: child protection organisation Barnardos and Soldier On which supports rehabilitation for ex-services men and women.
In 2014, Arena donated the proceeds of her single The Things We Do For Love to the Breast Cancer Foundation and has performed at several benefit concerts, including Live 8 in Paris and for Queensland Flood Relief in 2013.
The singer is now reflecting on nearly 40 years in the music industry and relates all of her achievements back to her Australian beginnings.
"If it wasn't for Australia, I would never have been able to have been catapulted internationally and to have done the things that I've been able to do. It was because of Australia that I've done that," she told AAP last year.