Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has reached beyond the deputy ranks of the federal police and into the state and territory services to appoint an outsider, the Northern Territory Commissioner Reece Kershaw, as the new Australian Federal Police Commissioner.
Mr Kershaw is a former federal officer who has been the NT's Commissioner since 2015 when scandal first embroiled the territory's former top cop, John McRoberts.
Mr Kershaw previously worked for the Australian Crime Commission and the National Crime Authority, and also had a role with the United Nations. He was a senior police investigator in the 2002 Bali bombings and was awarded the Australian Police Medal in 2016.
Mr Kershaw's announcement was made by Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton in Canberra on Wednesday.
He will succeed Andrew Colvin as AFP Commissioner in early October.
Mr Colvin announced his decision to stand down last week after his five-year fixed term, ending a 30-year career in law enforcement.
Four deputy commissioners within the federal ranks, together with former ACT chief police officer and now chief executive of the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, Mike Phelan, were overlooked for the AFP's most prestigious position.
In announcing the appointment, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton praised both Mr Kershaw and Mr Colvin.
"He has an extremely distinguished policing and public service career," Mr Dutton said.
"He has represented his country ... and territory [and has] the great respect of those who served under him and I'm very pleased that he has accepted the offer to become the next Commissioner," Mr Dutton said.
Mr Kershaw said that it was "an honour and privilege to lead the men and women of the AFP" and pledged to support them with the "right training, the right technology and right equipment".
He wants the AFP's operating model to be "fit for purpose now, and into the the future".
He indicated that he would review the current prosecutions against journalists over national security leaks and would be making an assessment of the matter as part of his incoming brief.
"In relation to the media freedoms, I believe in those (for) our democracy and that's the approach I'll take," Mr Kershaw said.
He intended to "get as much information as I can to see where it [the investigation] is at" but added that decisions on whether to prosecute usually rested with the investigating officers.
He also reflected on the five officer suicides within the ranks of the federal police in the past two years, saying there was "more work to do" in this area and the AFP "was not alone in this area".
The president of the federal police association, Angela Smith, welcomed the appointment of Mr Kershaw, adding that the mental health of the police cohort should be a priority. She looked forward to discussing this, and other key areas, with him.
She also welcomed the early timing of the appointment and said Mr Kershaw brings "a wealth of experience back to the AFP".