Australia's new PM Tony Abbott
Credits: REUTERS/PETER BARNES
The 55-year-old former boxer and Rhodes Scholar claimed the job following Saturday's general election Down Under.
Abbott leads a coalition of conservative parties into power after beating the worn out six-year government of Labour's Kevin Rudd.
Should Canada care?
Let's look at the man and his journey to office and see if it doesn't remind you of somebody.
Abbott is a social conservative with a love of sport. He is a monarchist, a committed church-going Christian, has little time for the fiction of man-made climate change and sees a strong future for his country in a united Commonwealth of Nations with Queen Elizabeth II at its head.
If all that sounds a little like Stephen Harper, then there's more.
Tony Abbott made his name as a student activist in the rough house of Australian university politics as he worked towards a degree in economics. He relentlessly fought socialist ideologues and sought out fellow travellers who shared his commitment to right-wing ideals in everything from civil society to political affiliation.
Abbott and Harper can both claim former Australian Prime Minister John Howard as a mentor, friend and political guide. They are both published authors, with Abbott's works set on political philosophy whereas Harper's book on the early history of hockey is set to hit store shelves Nov. 5.
Abbott has triumphed in a traditionally bruising Australian political contest by staying focused, disciplined and undistracted by the sometimes hysterical criticism delivered by his opponents.
He has pledged to fight militant trade unions and is committed to lowering taxation across the board, including putting an end to Australia's contentious and ultimately punitive carbon tax.
Abbott is convinced voters are sick of the visions espoused by two left-wing national governments in a row; he has said repeatedly people want action. Abbott's pitch is a practical, roll-up-your-sleeves government that will directly attack a bloated public service in the national capital of Canberra.
Government to his mind is about serving the community rather than vested political interests. He has the form to back that belief. The new prime minister has a longstanding record of community involvement as a firefighter, a surf lifesaver and a volunteer in remote outback indigenous communities.
As Australia's 28th prime minister, Abbott has announced a renewed commitment to lifting defence spending and wants to work with regional neighbours in Asia and across the South Pacific.
To that end he has said he would not visit the northern hemisphere as premier until after he had visited the main capitals of Asia.
His first travel priorities would therefore be to visit Indonesia, China, Japan and South Korea. He specified that neighbouring Indonesia was Australia's "most important'' relationship.
"Only after our regional and trading partners have been suitably attended to would I make the traditional trips to Washington and London,'' he said during his campaign launch.
With Tony Abbott's ascent to power there is now a quartet of socially and politically conservative leaders in four of the major English-speaking members of the Commonwealth.
Abbott joins U.K. premier David Cameron, Canada's Stephen Harper and New Zealand's John Key at the helm of their respective countries at a time when conservative politics seems to be on the rise.
Expect to see him alongside Harper when the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting is held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, come early November.
The two should find plenty to talk about.