Governor of Victoria

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Governor of Victoria
Badge of the Governor of Victoria.svg
Badge of the Governor
Incumbent
Alex Chernov
AC, QC

since 8 April 2011
Viceroy
Style His Excellency
Residence Government House, Melbourne
Appointer Elizabeth II
Term length At Her Majesty's pleasure
Formation 22 May 1855
First holder Sir Charles Hotham
Website Office of the Governor

The Governor of Victoria is the representative in the Australian state of Victoria of its monarch, Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia and is one of the Governors of the Australian states. The Governor performs the same constitutional and ceremonial functions at the state level as does the Governor-General of Australia at the national level. The Governor's office and official residence is Government House next to the Royal Botanic Gardens and surrounded by Kings Domain in Melbourne.

The current Governor of Victoria is former judge Alex Chernov.[1]

Powers[edit]

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 Victoria. Nevertheless, the Governor retains the reserve powers of the Crown, and has the right to dismiss the Premier.[2]

Role of Governor[edit]

The Governor of Victoria is appointed by the Queen of Australia, on the advice of the Premier of Victoria, to act as her representative as Head of State in Victoria.[3] The Governor acts "at the Queen's pleasure", meaning that the term of the Governor can be terminated at any time by the Queen acting upon the advice of the Premier.

Since the Australia Acts of 1986, it is the Governor, and not the Queen, who exercises all the powers of the Head of State, and the Governor is not subject to the direction or supervision of the Monarch, but acts upon the advice of the Premier. Upon appointment, he or she becomes a Viceroy. The Governor's main responsibilities fall into three categories — constitutional, ceremonial and community engagement.[3]

Governor's Personal Standard[edit]

Standard of the Governor of Victoria

In 1984, the Personal Standard of the Governor of Victoria was changed to the State Flag of Victoria, with the blue background replaced by gold, and red stars depicting the Southern Cross. Above the Southern Cross is the Royal Crown. Previously, the Standard used by Victorian Governors after 1870 had been the Union Jack with the Badge of the State of Victoria emblazoned in the centre.[4] Between 1903 and 1953, the Tudor Crown was used on the State Flag and Governor's Standard, and this was changed to the present crown in 1954.

The Governor’s Standard is flown at Government House and on vehicles conveying the Governor. The Standard is lowered over Government House when the Governor is absent from Victoria.[4]

Related offices[edit]

There is also a Lieutenant-Governor and an Administrator. The Chief Justice of Victoria is ex officio the Administrator, unless he or she is the Lieutenant-Governor, in which case, the next most senior judge is the Administrator. The Lieutenant-Governor takes on the responsibilities of the Governor when that post is vacant or when the Governor is out of the State or unable to act. The Administrator takes on those duties if both the Governor and Lieutenant-Governor are not able to act for the above reasons.

See Governors of the Australian states for a description and history of the office of Governor.

Australian-born governors[edit]

The first Australian- (and Victorian-) born Governor of Victoria was Sir Henry Winneke (appointed 1974). With the exceptions of Dr Davis McCaughey (b. Ireland), Professor David de Kretser (b. Ceylon) and incumbent Alex Chernov (b. Lithuania), all subsequent governors have been Australian-born.

List of Governors of Victoria[edit]

Standard of the Governor of Victoria (1903–1984). Prior to 1953, a Tudor Crown was used

Lieutenant-Governors[edit]

Prior to the separation of the colony of Victoria from New South Wales in 1851, the area was called the Port Phillip District of New South Wales. The Governor of New South Wales appointed superintendents of the District. In 1839 Charles La Trobe was appointed superintendent. La Trobe became Lieutenant-Governor of Victoria on separation on 1 July 1851.

Between 1850 and 1861, the Governor of New South Wales was titled Governor-General of New South Wales, in an attempt to form a federal structure. Until Victoria obtained responsible government in 1855, the Governor-General of New South Wales appointed Lieutenant-Governors to Victoria.[5] On Victoria obtaining responsible government in May 1855, the title of the then incumbent Lieutenant-Governor, Captain Sir Charles Hotham, became Governor.

No. Image Lieutenant-Governor From To
1 Charleslatrobe.jpg Captain Charles La Trobe 1 July 1851 5 May 1854
2 Hotham governor of victoria.JPG Captain Sir Charles Hotham KCB RN 22 June 1854 22 May 1855

Governors[edit]

No. Image Governor From To Notes
1 Hotham governor of victoria.JPG Captain Sir Charles Hotham KCB RN 22 May 1855 31 December 1855 Edward Macarthur was administrator from January to December 1856[6]
2 Henry Barkly.jpg Sir Henry Barkly GCMG KCB FRS FRGS 26 December 1856 10 September 1863
3 Portrait of Sir Charles Darling 1863 wood engraving.jpg Sir Charles Darling KCB 11 September 1863 7 May 1866 George Carey acted May to August 1866[7]
4 3rdViscountCanterbury.jpg The Rt Hon. Viscount Canterbury GCMG KCB 15 August 1866 2 March 1873
5 George Bowen b.jpg The Rt Hon. Sir George Bowen GCMG 30 July 1873 22 February 1879
6 GeorgePhipps2ndMarquessOfNormanby.jpg The Most Hon. Marquess of Normanby GCB GCMG PC 29 April 1879 18 April 1884
7 Henry Loch Vanity Fair 5 July 1894.jpg The Rt Hon. Lord Loch GCMG KCB 15 July 1884 15 November 1889
8 Hopetoun.jpg The Most Hon. Earl of Hopetoun KT GCMG GCVO PC 28 November 1889 12 July 1895
9 Brassey1.JPG The Rt Hon. Earl Brassey GCB JP DL TD 25 October 1895 31 March 1900
10 George Sydenham Clarke.jpg Sir George Clarke KCMG 28 September 1901[8] 24 November 1903
11 Reginald Talbot Vanity Fair 22 July 1897.jpg The Hon. Major-General Sir Reginald Talbot KCB 25 April 1904 6 July 1908
12 Thomas Gibson Carmichael.jpg The Rt Hon. Lord Carmichael GCSI GCIE KCMG DL 27 July 1908 19 May 1911
13 Badge of the Governor of Victoria.svg The Rt Hon. Sir John Fuller Bt KCMG 24 May 1911 24 November 1913
14 Arthur Stanley.jpg Sir Arthur Stanley KCMG 23 February 1914 30 January 1920
15 Badge of the Governor of Victoria.svg The Rt Hon. Earl of Stradbroke KCMG CB CVO CBE VD TD 24 February 1921 7 April 1926
16 Badge of the Governor of Victoria.svg The Rt Hon. Lord Somers KCMG DSO MC 28 June 1926 23 June 1931
17 Lord huntingfield.jpg The Rt Hon. Lord Huntingfield KCMG 14 May 1934 4 April 1939
18 Winston Dugan.jpg The Rt Hon. Major General Lord Dugan GCMG CB DSO 17 July 1939 20 February 1949
19 Dallas Brooks.jpg General Sir Reginald Dallas Brooks GCMG KCB KCVO DSO 18 October 1949 7 May 1963
20 Badge of the Governor of Victoria.svg Major General Sir Rohan Delacombe KCMG KBE CB DSO 8 May 1963 31 May 1974
21 Badge of the Governor of Victoria.svg The Hon. Sir Henry Winneke AC KCMG KCVO OBE QC 1 June 1974 28 February 1982
22 Badge of the Governor of Victoria.svg Rear Admiral Sir Brian Murray KCMG AO 1 March 1982 3 October 1985
23 Badge of the Governor of Victoria.svg The Reverend Dr Davis McCaughey AC 18 February 1986 22 April 1992
24 Badge of the Governor of Victoria.svg The Hon. Richard McGarvie AC QC 23 April 1992 23 April 1997
25 Badge of the Governor of Victoria.svg The Hon. Sir James Gobbo AC CVO QC 24 April 1997 31 December 2000
26 Bannister and Landy.jpg Mr. John Landy AC CVO MBE 1 January 2001 7 April 2006
27 David de Kretser Dsc 6787.jpg Professor David de Kretser AC 7 April 2006 7 April 2011
28 Badge of the Governor of Victoria.svg The Hon. Alex Chernov AC QC 8 April 2011 Present

Living former governors[edit]

As of April 2011, three former governors are alive, the oldest being John Landy (2001–06, born 1930). The most recent governor to die was Davis McCaughey (1986–92), on 25 March 2005. The most recently serving governor to die was Richard McGarvie (1992–1997), on 24 May 2003.

Name Term as governor Date of birth and age
Sir James Gobbo 1997–2000 (1931-03-22) 22 March 1931 (age 83)
John Landy 2001–2006 (1930-04-12) 12 April 1930 (age 84)
David de Kretser 2006–2011 (1939-04-27) 27 April 1939 (age 75)

Lieutenant-Governor[edit]

There is also a Lieutenant-Governor and an Administrator. The Chief Justice of Victoria is ex officio the Administrator, unless he or she is the Lieutenant-Governor, in which case, the next most senior judge is the Administrator. The Lieutenant-Governor takes on the responsibilities of the Governor when that post is vacant or when the Governor is out of the State or unable to act. The Administrator takes on those duties if both the Governor and Lieutenant-Governor are not able to act for the above reasons.

The Lieutenant-Governor is appointed by the Governor on the advice of the Premier of Victoria. Appointment as Lieutenant-Governor of itself confers no powers or functions. If there is no Governor or if the Governor is unavailable to act for a substantial period, the Lieutenant-Governor assumes office as Administrator and exercises all the powers and functions of a Governor. If expecting to be unavailable for a short period only, the Governor with the consent of the Premier, usually commissions the Lieutenant-Governor to act as Deputy for the Governor, performing some or all of the powers and functions of the Governor.[9]

Marilyn Warren, AC, the Chief Justice of Victoria, is the current Lieutenant-Governor.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rout, Milanda: Former judge Alex Chernov is Victoria's next governor, The Australian, 21 February 2011.
  2. ^ Constitution of Victoria (1975), Part 1.
  3. ^ a b Role of the Governor
  4. ^ a b The Governor's Standard
  5. ^ Twomey, Anne (2006). The chameleon Crown: The Queen and her Australian governors. Sydney: The Federation Press. ISBN 978-1-86287-629-3. 
  6. ^ Hill, A. J. (1974). "Macarthur, Sir Edward (1789–1872)". Australian Dictionary of Biography 5. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 6 January 2013. 
  7. ^ McConville, Chris. "Carey, George Jackson (1822–1872)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  8. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27360. p. 6395. 1 October 1901.
  9. ^ Victoria Online

External links[edit]