Nobel Peace Prize nominee and Myanmar's president, Thein Sein, has become the first head of state from the recently reformed country to visit Australia since 1974.
Since coming to power in 2011 and instituting a number of economic and political reforms Mr Thein Sein has slowly but surely been welcomed back into the global community.
In September last year, the 67-year-old former general promised the UN General Assembly in New York that his democratic reforms in Myanmar are "irreversible".
So far his administration has freed hundreds of political prisoners, held an historic parliamentary election and relaxed censorship laws.
In recognition of these reforms taking place in the country, Australia, the United States and the European Union have eased sanctions on Myanmar.
He has also been nominated for this year's Nobel Peace Prize for putting the country on a path towards democracy.
They say he has consorted with known drug lords and militia leaders.
Mr Thein Sein has made it clear the military will continue to play a key role in politics and he has notably made no apologies for its past actions.
But who is Mr Thein Sein?
Born in a small village in the delta of the Irrawaddy River in 1945, Mr Thein Sein came from humble beginnings.
His father made a living weaving bamboo mats and eventually became a Buddhist monk after his wife's death.
Mr Thein Sein studied arts at Myanmar's military academy before steadily rising through the ranks of the ruling junta.
In 1988, the military crushed a widespread democratic uprising, killing Buddhist monks and students who demonstrated against the regime.
Many of Mr Thein Sein's military colleagues claim that he - then a Major - released the activists captured by his battalion.
In the 1990s, he was promoted to the junta's inner circle, joining the State Peace and Development Council.
He played a key role in the drafting of the new constitution as the chair of the National Convention in 2008 and increasingly became the public face of the regime, representing Myanmar at ASEAN and UN meetings.
In 2008, a cyclone swept across Myanmar, killing 80,000 people and shaking the junta's power.
Civilians risked lengthy prison sentences to criticise the government's response to the disaster. For the first time, the regime was forced to accept international aid.
Sensing a shifting wind, the junta's head Than Shwe plotted a quiet exit.
Mr Thein Sein became president in November 2010, following the country's first election in 20 years.
After becoming president, he met with freed pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and following the meeting, she and her NLD party chose to re enter the political process.
In April last year, , winning 43 of the 44 seats it contested. The election was seen as largely free and fair by observers.