Australia's deputy high commissioner to the United Kingdom, Matthew Anderson, has been named as the next director of the Australian War Memorial.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Friday announced Mr Anderson would replace Dr Brendan Nelson, who will step down at the end of this year.
A senior career diplomat, Mr Anderson served as Australia's Ambassador to Afghanistan before being posted to London in 2016.
He was the head of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's MH17 Taskforce, following the downing of the aircraft in Ukrainian airspace in 2014.
Mr Anderson was also the High Commissioner to Solomon Islands from 2011 to 2013 and High Commissioner of Samoa from 2007 to 2011. He was awarded the Public Service Medal in the 2011 Australia Day Honours List for his role leading the Australian humanitarian and consular response to the 2009 earthquake and tsunami in Samoa.
But he is also a graduate of the Royal Military College Duntroon, and spent eight years as an Australian Army Officer, including three years as Troop Commander for the Royal Australian Engineers.
Mr Morrison said Mr Anderson was "well placed" to tell the stories of Australians at war, having written three children's books on Australia's involvement in the First and Second World Wars.
He has also served on the Australian Alternate on the Board of Trustees of the Imperial War Museum and Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
Veterans' Affairs Minister Darren Chester said as a veteran, Mr Anderson understood the importance of the war memorial's $500 million redevelopment in ensuring the stories of Australia's servicemen and women were appropriately told.
Australian War Memorial Council chairman Kerry Stokes said Mr Anderson brought an "empathy for young veterans and the telling of their stories".
"He has cleaned the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier and he has faced great danger in Afghanistan. Mr Anderson embodies the qualities the Memorial needs to speak for, and to, a new generation," Mr Stokes said.
Dr Nelson said Mr Anderson was "right person for this role".
"Beyond his sharp intellect, strong work ethic and humility, above all else he brings to our nation's most iconic and loved institution empathy for young veterans and the ability to tell their stories," Dr Nelson said.
Mr Chester also thanked outgoing director Dr Nelson for his service.
"Dr Nelson has ensured the stories of an entire new generation of service are told and remembered alongside those that inspired their own sacrifice and to do the same for future generations. I wish him all the best for the future," Mr Chester said.
Dr Nelson announced in August he had knocked back an offer of another five-year term as head of the war memorial, paving the way for a new director to oversee its mammoth redevelopment.
The former Liberal Party leader had championed the expansion, in order to create more space to tell the stories of newer generations of veterans. The architects' vision for the site was unveiled last month.
But Dr Nelson also weathered criticism for the scale of the expansion, and for securing sponsorship deals from weapons manufacturers.
Mr Stokes said while many would see the redevelopment as Dr Nelson's legacy, his true achievement had been to "harness the energy and the spirit of those who work at the Australian War Memorial into a dedicated, efficient and highly motivated family that was responsible for achieving the outcomes of the visions that he set".
"We will all miss him and his enthusiasm but he has paved the way for the next director to continue to evolve the Australian War Memorial, as the guardian of the values we hold dear as Australians - in this crucible that is in fact a cathedral of the spirit of the nation," Mr Stokes said.