Updated: 03/28/2014 10:37 | By Agence France-Presse

Vietnam veteran is Queen's new envoy in Australia

Former military chief Peter Cosgrove became Australia's governor-general Friday, vowing to uphold the values of equity and compassion as British Queen Elizabeth II's representative in the country.


Vietnam veteran is Queen's new envoy in Australia

File photo taken in October 2011 shows Queen Elizabeth II escorted by former military chief Peter Cosgrove at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra - by Ray Strange

Cosgrove, now Sir Peter after Prime Minister Tony Abbott this week revived the honours system, said he would be bipartisan and attend to matters which sat within Australian values.

"Values that respect, and uphold equity, compassion, generosity, tolerance and energetic ambition," he said.

Cosgrove, who replaces Australia's first female governor-general Dame Quentin Bryce, assumed the office at a ceremony at Parliament House in Canberra, the 26th person and 13th Australian in the role. 

"I am at once humbled and proud to assume the office as governor-general, humbled to know something of the great men and the one woman to have preceded me," he told the upper house Senate.

"And proud beyond description of Australia, of its men and women, and of their history, their heritage, their present genius and their hopeful future."

The governor-general's role is to maintain direct contact with the Queen, who is Australia's head of state, and the British monarch delegates executive power to them in almost every respect.

They can open and dissolve parliament, commission the prime minister and appoint ministers, rubber-stamp laws passed by parliament and appoint judges and diplomats. 

Though the role is largely ceremonial, the governor-general can intervene as occurred in 1975 when then governor-general John Kerr dismissed the government amid a constitutional crisis over deadlocked budget bills.

Abbott, a staunch monarchist, stoked republican dissent with his revival of the honours system this week, but a 1999 referendum to become a republic failed and the Queen is well loved in Australia.

Bryce hinted at support for a republic in one of her final addresses and Cosgrove, an avowed monarchist, has said he would be guided in his new role by "the will of the people".

Cosgrove, a graduate of the Royal Military College, Duntroon, served as a platoon commander in Vietnam and was awarded a Military Cross for his work during an assault on enemy positions there.

He came to prominence in 1999 when he was appointed commander of the international peacekeeping mission in East Timor, overseeing more than 11,000 troops from 22 nations.

He was promoted to army chief in 2000 and two years later became chief of the entire defence force before retiring from active service in 2005.

Latest Photo Galleries on xinmsn

NEWS VIDEOS

MORE NEWS VIDEOS

facebook recommendations

LIVE NEWS RADIO STREAMING

  • 938 Live

    938LIVE is Singapore's only English news and talk station which transmits round the clock with an engaging and enticing spread of programmes on current affairs, health, business and lifestyle as well as news every half hour until midnight.

  • Capital 958


    95.8FM城市频道的前身是"第三广播网"。上个世纪30年代末,新加坡就有中文广播,一路走来经过不少政治,社会局势的改变,中文广播在本地一直扮演举足轻重的角色。