War hero and former SAS commando, Major-General Michael Jeffery vowed to restore “dignity and integrity” to the office of the governor-general.
"Together with my wife Marlena, and with your support, I will do my best to fulfill the constitutional and public obligations of this high office with dedication, dignity and integrity," the new governor-general said on taking oath.
Sixty-five year old, Jeffery was decorated for valour during the Vietnam war and later headed the army’s elite Special Air Service commando regiment.
He also served as governor of the state of Western Australia from 1993 to 2000.
'Together with my wife Marlena, and with your support, I will do my best to fulfill the constitutional and public obligations of this high office with dedication, dignity and integrity'
Jeffery replaces Peter Hollingworth, a former Anglican cleric who resigned in May amid an escalating controversy over his failure to discipline pedophile priests when he was the archbishop of Brisbane in the 1990s.
The scandal around Hollingworth revived demands that the office of governor-general, a legacy from Australia’s days as a British colony,should be abolished.
But unmindful of the surrounding tumult, Jeffery pledged to promote tolerance in an increasingly multi-ethnic Australia.
"We are a free, decent and innovative people, prepared to have a go, and committed to protecting and sustaining the rights and obligations of all citizens living within our vibrant democracy under the rule of law," the new governor-general said.