Former governor-general Major-General Michael Jeffery has died.
Current Governor-General David Hurley issued a statement on Friday afternoon.
"Linda and I are saddened at the news of Michael Jeffery's passing," General Hurley said.
"On behalf of all Australians, our thoughts are with Marlena and the whole Jeffery family. As a nation, we give thanks for Michael's extraordinary lifetime of service.
"He was, by every measure, a great Australian."
Mr Jeffery died on Friday, less than a week after his 83rd birthday on December 12.
He was Australia's 24th governor-general, serving between August 2003 and September 2008.
Mr Jeffery, supported by his wife Marlena, was prominent in his support of Canberrans in the wake of the 2003 bushfires. The couple more than made their mark on Canberra.
The Jefferys, regarded as a strong team, were in high spirits and close to tears when they were farewelled from Government House in September 2008, walking through a throng of school children, staff and other supporters.
During that farewell, a committee member of the Children's Medical Research Institute's Canberra committee, Elly Cox, described the Jefferys as the ''most natural, approachable people''.
General Hurley praised the service of Major-General Jeffery.
"After graduating from the Royal Military College in 1958, he served on operations in Malaya, Borneo, Papua New Guinea and Vietnam, where he was awarded the Military Cross. He held numerous commands, including of the Special Air Service Regiment, before retiring from the military in 1993," his statement read.
"His distinguished military career was just one chapter in his lifetime of service. He became governor of Western Australia in 1993 and, in 2003, Australia's 24th governor-general. After his term in office he became Australia's first National Advocate for Soil Health.
"Throughout his career - in its many iterations - he worked tirelessly, put others ahead of himself and brought immense intellect, work ethic and commitment to everything he did. Unfailingly polite, he was, quite simply, a gentleman.
"He was also a husband, father and grandfather. Our thoughts - as we give thanks and acknowledge a lifetime of service - are with his loved ones."