The Governor-General Ms Quentin Bryce AC CVO is soon set to retire and rumours have been rife about who is going to replace her for months. On Tuesday, the appointment was confirmed when the Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, announced that Australia’s 26th Governor-General will be General Peter Cosgrove AC MC.
General Cosgrove, 66, was Chief of Her Majesty’s Australian defence force from 2002 to 2005, and has 40 years service in the military having been deployed to Vietnam and East Timor. Mr Abbott said that General Cosgrove “has demonstrated a commitment to our country and a commitment of service” at a press conference held at Parliament House. Mr Abbott also spoke highly of the outgoing Governor-General saying “she served with grace.”
Peter Cosgrove will be Governor-General at the 100th anniversary of the landing of the ANZAC troops at Gallipoli in Turkey. Many Australians see this as a fitting tribute as he is a decorated war hero and former chief of the armed forces. General Cosgrove has said he will do his best to visit and meet as many Australians as he can, be that visiting troops on bases, meeting people in the street and at functions.
With The Queen being Australia’s head of state, it is the governor-general’s role to report to Her Majesty on a regular business and commission any decisions The Queen wishes to make. The governor-general’s role is rather ceremonial, although they do have the power to act on The Queen’s behalf in matters of government.
Ms Bryce, who recently came under fire by Monarchists for comments made during a speech last year, will retire in March after her contract expires.
Any news of the Royal Family in Australia causes discussions surrounding the republican debate. At this time, no referendum is on the horizon with the Australian Prime Minister being a firm believer in what the Monarchy represents in the country and the importance of Australia’s strong ties with Britain.
Photo credit: Brent Hunter – Author