Governor of Queensland

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Governor of Queensland
Crest of the Governor of Queensland.svg
Badge of the Governor
Paul de Jersey

since 29 July 2014
Style His Excellency
Residence Government House, Brisbane
Appointer Elizabeth II
Term length At Her Majesty's pleasure
Formation 10 December 1859
First holder Sir George Bowen
Website Office of the Governor

The Governor of Queensland is the representative in the state of Queensland of the Queen of Australia. In an analogous way to the Governor-General of Australia at the national level, the Governor performs constitutional and ceremonial functions at the state level. In particular the Governor has the power to appoint and dismiss the Premier of Queensland and all other Ministers in the Cabinet, and issue writs for the election of the state Parliament.

The current Governor, Paul de Jersey was sworn in on 29 July 2014.[1]

As from June 2014, The Queen, upon the recommendation of the Premier Campbell Newman, accorded all current, future and living former Governors the title 'The Honourable' in perpetuity.[2]

Official residence[edit]

Standard of the Governor of Queensland
Standard of the Governor of Queensland 1901-1952, bearing a Tudor crown

The Governor of Queensland has resided at Government House, Brisbane since 1910. The mansion, set in 14 hectares of gardens and bushland in the Brisbane suburb of Bardon, is also known as "Fernberg". Unlike Fernberg, the original Government House was purpose-built and was used from 1862 to 1910; the building still exists today on the grounds of Queensland University of Technology.

Constitutional provisions[edit]

The office of Governor is established by the Constitution of Queensland. Section 29 of the Constitution as passed in 2001 provides that the office of Governor must exist and be appointed by the Sovereign, but parts of the earlier Consititution Act of 1867 relating to the Governor are still in force owing to the double entrenchment of them within the constitution by the government of Joh Bjelke-Petersen, who feared that the office and powers of state Governor might be abolished following the controversies of the 1975 Australian constitutional crisis at a federal level.

In accordance with the conventions of the Westminster system of parliamentary government, the Governor nearly always acts solely on the advice of the head of the elected government, the Premier of Queensland. Nevertheless, the Governor retains the reserve powers of the Crown, and has the right to appoint and dismiss Ministers, issue pardons, and dissolve Parliament.

The Queensland constitution expressly provides that the Governor is not subject to direction by any person and is not limited as to the Governor's sources of advice on the appointment or dismissal of Ministers (s. 35), another provision inserted by the Bjelke-Petersen government in the wake of the 1975 federal dismissal. This provision worked against Bjelke-Petersen when, in the dying days of his government in November 1987, he tried and failed to convince Governor Sir Walter Campbell to remove several ministers to shore up his own support within Parliament. When the parliamentary wing of the National Party deposed Bjelke-Petersen and elected one of the dissident ministers, Mike Ahern, as new Leader of the National Party, Sir Joh initially refused to resign as Premier and Sir Walter resisted calls to dismiss him. Sir Joh elected to resign on 1 December 1987.

The Governor is head of the Executive Council, a Queensland equivalent to the Federal Executive Council. The Council is composed of ministers from the government of the day. The Chief Justice of Queensland and other judges in the Queensland judicial system are appointed by the Governor acting on the advice of the Executive Council.

List of Governors of Queensland[edit]

The first Australian- (and Queensland-) born Governor of Queensland was Lieutenant-General Sir John Lavarack (appointed 1946). His successor, Sir Henry Abel Smith was British. All subsequent governors have been Australian-born, except for Leneen Forde, who was born in Canada but who emigrated to Australia at an early age.

No. Image Governor[3][4] From To
1 George Bowen b.jpg The Rt Hon Sir George Bowen GCMG 10 December 1859 4 January 1868
2 Samuel Blackall.jpg Colonel Sir Samuel Blackall 14 August 1868 2 January 1871
3 GeorgePhipps2ndMarquessOfNormanby.jpg The Most Hon George Phipps, 2nd Marquess of Normanby GCB GCMG PC 12 August 1871 12 November 1874
4 William Cairns.jpg Sir William Cairns KCMG 23 January 1875 14 March 1877
5 ArthurEdwardKennedy.jpg Sir Arthur Kennedy GCMG CB 20 July 1877 2 May 1883
6 AnthonyMusgrave.jpg Sir Anthony Musgrave KCMG 6 November 1883 9 November 1888
7 StateLibQld 1 113832 Sir Henry Wylie Norman.jpg Field Marshal Sir Henry Norman GCB GCMG CIE 1 May 1889 31 December 1895
8 Baron Lamington.jpg The Rt Hon Lord Lamington GCMG GCIE 9 April 1896 19 December 1901
9 Sir Herbert Chermside.jpg Lieutenant General Sir Herbert Chermside GCMG CB 24 March 1902 10 October 1904
10 Chelmsford Governor.jpg The Rt Hon Frederic Thesiger, 1st Viscount Chelmsford GCSI GCMG GCIE GBE PC 30 November 1905 26 May 1909
11 StateLibQld 1 138019 Sir William MacGregor in ceremonial gown as Governor of Queensland.jpg The Rt Hon Sir William MacGregor GCMG CB 2 December 1909 16 July 1914
12 Hamilton Goold-Adams.jpg Major Sir Hamilton Goold-Adams GCMG CB 15 March 1915 3 February 1920
13 Sir Matthew Nathan.jpg Lieutenant Colonel Sir Matthew Nathan GCMG 3 December 1920 17 September 1925
14 Sir John Goodwin.jpg Lieutenant General Sir John Goodwin KCB KCMG DSO 13 June 1927 7 April 1932
15 Sir Leslie Wilson.jpg The Rt Hon Sir Leslie Wilson GCMG GCSI GCIE DSO PC 13 June 1932 23 April 1946
16 Sir John Lavarack.jpg Lieutenant General Sir John Lavarack KCMG KCVO KBE CB DSO 1 October 1946 4 December 1957
17 Henry Abel Smith and May Ella Emma Cambridge.jpg Colonel Sir Henry Abel Smith KCMG KCVO DSO 18 March 1958 18 March 1966
18 Crest of the Governor of Queensland.svg Sir Alan Mansfield KCMG KCVO 21 March 1966 21 March 1972
19 Caf hannah.jpg Air Marshal Sir Colin Hannah KCMG KCVO KBE CB 21 March 1972 20 March 1977
20 Crest of the Governor of Queensland.svg Commodore Sir James Ramsay KCMG KCVO CBE DSC 22 April 1977 21 July 1985
21 Crest of the Governor of Queensland.svg Sir Walter Campbell AC QC 22 July 1985 29 July 1992
22 Crest of the Governor of Queensland.svg Leneen Forde AC 29 July 1992 29 July 1997
23 Crest of the Governor of Queensland.svg Major General Peter Arnison AC CVO 29 July 1997 29 July 2003
24 Governor-General of Australia, Quentin Bryce.jpg Quentin Bryce AC 29 July 2003 29 July 2008
25 Penny Wensley (1).jpg Penelope Wensley AC 29 July 2008 29 July 2014
26 US Navy 110507-N-1X994-001 Members of the U.S. 7th Fleet Band are inspected by acting Governor and Chief Justice of Queensland the Honorable Paul d.jpg Paul de Jersey AC, QC 29 July 2014 Present

Living former governors[edit]

Four former governors of Queensland are alive, the oldest being Leneen Forde (1992–97, born 1935).

Name Term as governor Date of birth
Leneen Forde 1992–1997 (1935-05-12) 12 May 1935 (age 79)
Peter Arnison 1997–2003 (1940-10-21) 21 October 1940 (age 74)
Quentin Bryce 2003–2008 (1942-12-23) 23 December 1942 (age 72)
Penelope Wensley 2008–2014 (1946-10-18) 18 October 1946 (age 68)

The most recent death of a former governor was that of Sir Walter Campbell (1985–92), on 4 September 2004.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]