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Peter Cosgrove named Australia’s next Governor-General

General Cosgrove with the Queen at the Australian War Memorial in 2011
General Cosgrove with the Queen at the Australian War Memorial in 2011

The highly decorated military officer succeeds Quentin Bryce as the Queen’s representative in Australia, and becomes the country’s 26th Governor-General.

General Cosgrove, 66, said he was “truly humbled” by the appointment, and would do his best “to be a governor-general for every part of the community."

"My approach to this job will be, of course, as I've approached all those times when I've been asked to serve Australia," he said, as his wife Lynn stood beside him.

"It will get my total commitment, all the energy I've got, good humour and with an unfailing optimism that this is a great nation which will only get better."

General Cosgrove also thanked Lynn for her support during their 37-year marriage. The couple has three adult sons.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott made the announcement in Canberra earlier today, paying tribute to General Cosgrove's military background and said he would discharge his new responsibilities with “vigour and integrity”.

"Throughout his life he has demonstrated a commitment to our country and a commitment to service," Mr Abbott said.

"I am confident that in this new role he will continue to deliver to a grateful nation leadership beyond politics.

"I am confident that ... Peter will discharge his responsibilities with confidence and integrity."

The Prime Minister thanked Ms Bryce – Australia’s first female Governor-General – for her “grace and distinction” while holding the distinguished position. Her five-year tenure ends in March.

Quentin Bryce with US President Barack Obama and General Cosgrove in 2011

 Quentin Bryce with US President Barack Obama and General Cosgrove in 2011
Quentin Bryce with US President Barack Obama and General Cosgrove in 2011

Quentin Bryce with US President Barack Obama and General Cosgrove in 2011

During her time in office, Ms Bryce met thousands of Australians, visited dozens of countries, hosted scores of foreign dignitaries, and represented Australia at the Royal Wedding in London in 2011.

General Cosgrove, who was named Australian of the Year in 2001, is a popular choice to replace Ms Bryce as Governor-General.

The highly-decorated Vietnam War veteran became Chief of the Army in 2000 and was appointed Chief of the Defence Force in 2002, a role he filled until his retirement from active service in 2005.

General Cosgrove first came to prominence in 1999, when he was in charge of international peacekeeping forces in East Timor and oversaw the country's transition to independence. In 2006, following the devastation of Cyclone Larry, he lead the taskforce to rebuild communities in far-north Queensland.

In more recent years he has worked as Chancellor of the Australian Catholic University and as a board member of Qantas and the Australian Rugby Union.

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