Administrator of the Northern Territory

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The Administrator of the Northern Territory is an official appointed by the Governor-General of Australia to exercise powers analogous to that of a state governor. Strictly speaking, the appointment of an Administrator is made by the Governor-General-in-Council, that is, the Governor-General acting on the advice of the Commonwealth Government, rather than the advice of the Government of the Northern Territory.

The Northern Territory received self-government on 1 July 1978, in accordance with the provisions of the Northern Territory (Self-Government) Act 1978 (Cth).[1]

However, the practice has arisen that in making an appointment the Governor-General-in Council will act on the recommendation of the Northern Territory Government. Unlike an Australian State Governor, the Administrator is not the direct representative of the Queen in the Territory but is instead appointed by the Queen's representative in the Commonwealth, the Governor-General, to administer the Territory in accordance with the Act. Actually, however, the Administrator performs a similar constitutional role to that of a State Governor and can be considered the Queen's indirect representative in the Territory.

The Administrator formally appoints the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory and the members of the Cabinet after every election. In all but a few cases, he or she is required by convention to act on the Cabinet's advice. The Administrator gives royal assent to all bills passed by the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly. Although the Governor-General (in practice, the Commonwealth Government) has the power to veto any territorial bill, in practice this right is almost never exercised.

The office of the Deputy of the Administrator was created in 1997.

In 2014, the Governor-General granted current, future and living former Administrators the title of 'The Honourable' for life, following the lead of Governors-General and Governors of New South Wales in granting the title.[2]

The present Administrator is John Hardy, OAM.[3]

South Australia (1846 to 1912)[edit]

Government Residents of the Northern Territory when annexed to the colony (later state) of South Australia:

No. Government Resident From To
1 Sir Charles Augustus FitzRoy, KCH, KCB 21 February 1846 28 December 1846[4]
2 The Hon. Boyle Travers Finniss 3 March 1864 4 November 1865[5]
(acting) James Stokes Millner MD January 1870 April 1870
3 William Bloomfield Douglas 27 April 1870 June 1873[6]
(acting) James Stokes Millner MD June 1873[7] October 1873
4 George Byng Scott 6 October 1873 30 June 1876[8]
5 Edward William Price 1 July 1876 6 March 1883[9]
(acting) Gilbert Rotherdale McMinn March 1883[10] March 1884
6 John Parsons 19 March 1884 14 February 1890[11]
7 John Knight FRIBA 16 July 1890 10 January 1892[12]
8 Charles James Dashwood 24 February 1892 31 January 1905[13]
9 Charles Edward Herbert 1 February 1905 8 February 1910[14]
10 The Hon. Samuel Mitchell 1 April 1910 25 March 1912

Commonwealth of Australia (1912 to present)[edit]

Administrators and Government Residents of the Northern Territory after transfer of control to the Commonwealth Government:

Administrator (1912 to 1919)[edit]

From left: Minister Josiah Thomas, Sir Walter Barttelot and Administrator John Gilruth in 1912.
No. Administrator From To
1 John Gilruth FRSE MRCVS 25 March 1912 1 August 1919

Director (1919 to 1921)[edit]

No. Director From To
1 Henry Ernest Carey 1 August 1919 17 January 1921

Administrator (1921 to 1927)[edit]

No. Administrator From To
1 Frederic Urquhart 17 January 1921 1 March 1927

Government Resident (1927 to 1931)[edit]

There was a brief experiment splitting government with an additional Government Resident (Central Australia) in Alice Springs based at The Residency. Alice Springs was known as Stuart town from 1888 to 1933.[15]

No. Government Resident (North Australia) From To
1 Robert Weddell 1 March 1927 12 June 1931
No. Government Resident (Central Australia) From To
1 John Cawood 1 March 1927 11 December 1929
2 Victor Carrington MBE 11 December 1929 12 June 1931

Administrator (1931 to present)[edit]

No. Administrator Post-
Nominal
From To
1 Robert Weddell 12 June 1931 29 March 1937
2 The Hon. Aubrey Abbott 29 March 1937 1 July 1946
3 Arthur Driver BEM 1 July 1946 1 July 1951
4 The Hon. Frank Wise AO 1 July 1951 1 July 1956
5 James Archer OBE 1 July 1956 1 April 1961
6 Roger Nott CBE 1 April 1961 1 October 1964
7 Roger Dean CBE 1 October 1964 4 March 1970
8 The Hon. Sir Frederick Chaney KBE AFC 4 March 1970 10 December 1973
9 Jock Nelson 10 December 1973 12 November 1975
10 John England CMG 1 June 1978 1 January 1981
11 Commodore Eric Johnston AO OBE RAN 1 January 1981 1 July 1989
12 The Hon. James Muirhead AC QC 1 July 1989 1 March 1993
13 The Hon. Austin Asche AC QC 1 March 1993 17 February 1997
14 The Hon. Dr. Neil Conn AO 17 February 1997 28 November 2000
15 The Hon. John Anictomatis AO 28 November 2000 30 October 2003
16 The Hon. Ted Egan AO 31 October 2003 31 October 2007
17 The Hon. Tom Pauling AO QC 31 October 2007 31 October 2011
18 The Hon. Sally Thomas AC 31 October 2011 10 November 2014
19 The Hon. John Hardy OAM 10 November 2014 Present

Deputy of the Administrator (1997 to present)[edit]

The office of the Deputy of the Administrator was established in 1997.

No. Deputy of the Administrator From To
1 Minna Sitzler AM 17 February 1997 30 November 2001
2 Pat Miller AO 20 September 2002 present

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]