Prime Minister Tony Abbott is expected to announce today that former Defence chief Peter Cosgrove will be Australia’s next Governor-General, replacing Quentin Bryce.
General Cosgrove, who was named as 2001’s Australian of the Year, is seen as a popular, apolitical choice to be the Queen’s representative in Australia.
If the announcement is confirmed, he will formally take on the role in March, when Ms Bryce’s five-year term comes to an end.
Known for his strength, intelligence and compassion, General Cosgrove came to prominence in 1999, when he led the international peacekeeping mission in East Timor.
He was appointed chief of the Army, and was named chief of the Defence Force in 2002.
General Cosgrove retired from active service in 2005.
In 2006, General Cosgrove was called on to lead the taskforce to rebuild communities in far-north Queensland, following the devastation of category-five Cyclone Larry.
Since retirement, he has worked as a non-executive director of Qantas.
During her five years as Governor-General, Ms Bryce has met thousands of Australians, visited dozens of countries and hosted scores of foreign dignitaries.
Ms Bryce, Australia’s first female Governor-General, fulfilled important constitutional and ceremonial roles, and also attend numerous community events.