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AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT

Governor-General

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Simply put, the Governor-General is the Queen's representative in Australia. Although the appointment of the Governor-General is technically made by "advice" to the Queen, since the 1930s appointments have been by the Australian government in power. This change took place as a result of a major confrontation with the British government over the appointment of Sir Isaac Isaacs. He became the first Australian-born Governor-General.

Duties of the Governor-General     Helpful Links     Postnominals - what the letters after their names mean

 

Term

Place of Birth

26 Peter Cosgrove
  AK, MC
28 March 2014 - present Sydney, NSW
Australia
25. Quentin Alice Louise Bryce
  AC
5 Sep 2008 - 28 Mar 2014 Longreach, QLD
Australia
24. Major-General Michael Jeffery
  AC, CVO, MC
11 Jun 2003 - 5 Sep 2008 Wiluna, WA
Australia
23. Rt Rev Dr Peter Hollingworth
  AC, OBE 
29 Jun 2001 - 11 Jun 2003 Adelaide, SA
Australia
22. Hon Sir William Patrick Deane
  AC, KBE 
16 Feb 1996 - 29 Jun 2001 Melbourne, VIC
Australia
21. Hon William George Hayden
  AC 
16 Feb 1989 - 16 Feb 1996 Brisbane, QLD
Australia
20. Rt Hon Sir Ninian Stephen
  KG, AK, GCMG, GCVO, KBE, QC 
29 Jul 1982 - 16 Feb 1989 Oxford,
England
19. Rt Hon Sir Zelman Cowen
  AK, GCMG, GCVO, QC
8 Dec 1977 - 29 Jul 1982 Melbourne, VIC
Australia
18. Rt Hon Sir John Robert Kerr
  AK, GCMG, GCVO, QC 
11 Jul 1974 - 8 Dec 1977 Sydney, NSW
Australia
17. Rt Hon Sir Paul Meemaa Caedwalla Hasluck
 
KG,   GCMG, GCVO 
30 Apr 1969 - 11 Jul 1974 Fremantle, WA
Australia
16. Rt Hon Richard Gardiner Casey
  Baron Casey, KG, GCMG, CH, PC, DSO, MC 
7 Sep 1965 - 30 Apr 1969 Brisbane, QLD
Australia
15. Rt Hon William Phillip Sidney De L’Isle
  lst Viscount De L'Isle,VC, GCMG, GCVO, PC 
3 Aug 1961 - 7 Sep 1965 London,
England
14. Rt Hon William Shepherd Morrison
  1st Viscount Dunrossil, GCMG, PC, MC, QC 
2 Feb 1960 - 3 Feb 1961
Died in office
Argyll,
Scotland
13. Field Marshal Sir William Joseph Slim
  KG, GCB, GCMG, GCVO, GBE, DSO, MC 
8 May 1953 - 2 Feb 1960 Bristol,
England
12. Rt Hon Sir William John McKell
  GCMG, QC 
11 Mar 1947 - 8 May 1953 Pambula, NSW
Australia
11. HRH Prince Henry William Frederick Henry
  Earl of Ulster and Baron Culloden
  KG, KT, GCB, GCMG, GCVO, PC 
30 Jan 1945 - 11 Mar 1947 Sandringham,
England
10. Brigadier Gen. Rt Hon Alexander Gore Hore-Ruthven
  1st Baron Gowrie, VC, GCMG, CB, PC, DSO 
23 Jan 1936 - 30 Jan 1945 Windsor,
England
9. Rt Hon Sir Isaac Alfred Isaacs
  GCB, GCMG, KC 
21 Jan 1931 - 23 Jan 1936 Melbourne, VIC
Australia
8. Rt Hon John Lawrence Baird
  1st Baron Stonehaven, GCMG, PC, DSO 
8 Oct 1925 - 21 Jan 1931 London,
England
7. Rt Hon Henry William Forster
  1st Baron Forster, GCMG, PC 
6 Oct 1920 - 8 Oct 1925 Kent,
England
6. Rt Hon Sir Ronald Craufurd
  GCMG, PC 
18 May 1914 - 6 Oct 1920 Fife,
Scotland
5. Rt Hon Thomas Denman
  3rd Baron Denman, PC, GCMG, KCVO 
31 Jul 1911 - 18 May 1914 London,
England
4. Rt Hon William Humble Ward
  2nd Earl of Dudley, GCB, GCMG, GCVO, PC 
9 Sep 1908 - 31 Jul 1911 London,
England
3. Rt Hon Henry Stafford Northcote
  1st Baron Northcote, GCMG, GCIE, CB, PC 
21 Jan 1904 - 9 Sep 1908 London,
England
2. Rt Hon Hallam Tennyson
  2nd Baron Tennyson, GCMG, PC 
9 Jan 1903 - 21 Jan 1904 Twickenham,
England
1. Rt Hon John Adrian Louis
  7th Earl of Hopetoun, KT, GCMG, GCVO, PC
1 Jan 1901 - 9 Jan 1903 Hopetoun,
Scotland

Governors-General with Prime Minister and Monarch

Governors-General Prime Minister Monarch   Governors-General Prime Minister Monarch
25. Bryce Rudd, Gillard, Rudd Elizabeth II 12. McKell Chifley George V
24. Jeffery Howard Elizabeth II 11. Henry Curtin George V
23. Hollingworth Howard Elizabeth II 10. Hore-Ruthven Lyons George V
22. Deane Keating Elizabeth II 9. Isaacs Scullin George V
21. Hayden Hawke Elizabeth II 8. Baird Bruce George V
20. Stephen Fraser Elizabeth II 7. Forster Hughes George V
19. Cowen Fraser Elizabeth II 6. Craufurd Cook George V
18. Kerr Witlam Elizabeth II 5. Denman Fisher George V
17. Hasluck Gorton Elizabeth II 4. Ward Deakin Edward VII
16. Casey Menzies Elizabeth II 3. Northcote Deakin Edward VII
15. L’Isle Menzies Elizabeth II 2. Tennyson Barton Edward VII
14. Morrison Menzies Elizabeth II 1. Louis . . . Victoria
13. Slim Menzies Elizabeth II        

Duties of the Governor-General

The Governor-General has many important duties to perform. Among them are the following from the Constitution:

  • Sec. 5
    Appoints sitting times for Parliament, as well as being responsible for its prorogation and dissolution.
  • Sec 28
    May dissolve the House of Representatives.
  • Sec 57
    May dissolve both houses of parliament in the event of a deadlock between them.
  • Sec 58
    May assent, or withhold assent, to laws passed by Parliament, or reserve laws for the Queen's assent, or return laws to the parliament recommending amendments.
  • Sec 59 and Sec 60
    In the event of the Queen disallowing any law, or assenting to a proposed law reserved for her pleasure, the Governor-General may by speech or message notify Parliament of her decision.
  • Sec 64
    May appoint officers (ministers) to departments of State, such officers holding office during his pleasure.
  • Sec 67
    With the Executive Council, appoints civil servants.
  • Sec 68
    Command in chief of the naval and military forces of the Commonwealth.
  • Sec 72
    With the Executive Council, appoints Justices of the High Court, and also receives their resignations.

More Information

  1. Australian Prime Ministers from 1901 to the present
  2. The Australian Constitution
  3. Governor-General official site
  4. Prime Minister of Australia
  5. Parliament of Australia
  6. High Court of Australia
  7. Australian Commonwealth Government
  8. Australian Honours System

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