AUSTRALIAN Catholic University chancellor General Peter Cosgrove has resigned to take up a five-year term as Australia’s next governor general.
General Cosgrove starts his appointment, as the Queen’s representative in Australia in March, replacing Quentin Bryce.
The former Defence Force chief was appointed ACU chancellor of in November 2010.
Pro-Chancellor Edward Excell will take over from the general until a new chancellor is named.
General Cosgrove said he was “honoured” to take up his new appointment.
“There is no greater privilege than to serve your country, and no greater country to serve than Australia,” he said.
“I congratulate Ms Bryce on the compassion and commitment to social justice she has displayed during her tenure, and I look forward to carrying on her excellent work.”
ACU’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Craven said General Cosgrove’s appointment recognised his “leadership skills and ability to unite people”.
“(General Peter Cosgrove) has dedicated his life to public service and is an excellent choice for Australia’s 26th Governor General,” he said.
General Cosgrove served in the Australian Army from 1965 and was made chief of the Australian Defence Force from July 2002 until retiring in July 2005.
He was appointed a Companion of the Military Division of the Order of Australian in 2000 for his guidance, skill and sensitivity.
In 2001 he was named Australian of the Year.
In the Catholic realm, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by ACU, and in February last year was bestowed the Honour of the Knight of the Grand Cross in the Order of St Gregory the Great by Pope Benedict XVI.