Governor of South Australia
|Governor of South Australia|
Badge of the Governor of South Australia
|Office of the Governor|
Executive Council of South Australia
|Style||His Excellency The Honourable|
|Reports to||Monarch of Australia|
|Residence||Government House, Adelaide|
|Seat||Adelaide, South Australia|
|Nominator||Premier of South Australia|
|Appointer||Monarch of Australia|
|Term length||At Her Majesty's pleasure|
|Formation||28 December 1836|
|First holder||Captain John Hindmarsh|
|Deputy||Lieutenant-Governor Brenda Wilson|
|Website||Office of the Governor|
The Governor of South Australia is the representative in the Australian state of South Australia of Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia. The Governor performs the same constitutional and ceremonial functions at the state level as does the Governor-General of Australia at the national 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 South Australia. Nevertheless, the Governor retains the reserve powers of the Crown, and has the right to dismiss the Premier. As from June 2014, the Queen, upon the recommendation of the Premier, accorded all current, future and living former Governors the title 'The Honourable' for life. The first six Governors oversaw the colony from proclamation in 1836 until self-government and an elected Parliament of South Australia was enacted in the year prior to the inaugural 1857 election.
The first Australian-born Governor of South Australia was Major-General Sir James Harrison (appointed 1968), and most subsequent governors have been Australian-born. The first South Australian-born governor was Sir Mark Oliphant (appointed 1971), and the first Aboriginal governor was Sir Douglas Nicholls (appointed 1976). The current governor is Hieu Van Le., who commenced when the term of the previous governor, Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce, expired on 7 August 2014. The Governor's official residence is Government House, in Adelaide, the state's capital.
Prior to self-government, the Governor was responsible to the Government of the United Kingdom and was charged with implementing laws and policy. Currently, the Governor is responsible for safeguarding the South Australian Constitution and facilitating the work of the Parliament and state government.
The Governor exercises power on the advice of Ministers, conveyed through the Executive Council. Constitutional powers bestowed upon the Governor and used with the consent and advice of the Executive Council include:
- to appoint and dismiss Ministers.
- exercising the prerogative of mercy.
- issuing regulations and proclamations under existing laws.
- giving Royal Assent to bills passed by Parliament.
- appointing judges, royal commissioners and senior public servants.
- dissolving Parliament and issuing writs for elections.
The Governor additionally maintains 'reserve powers' which can be used without the consent of the Executive Council. These powers relate to the appointment and dismissal of Ministers and Parliament.
List of Governors of South Australia
|No.||Portrait||Governor||Term begin||Term end||Time in office|
|Governor appointed by King William IV (1830–1837):|
|1||Rear Admiral Sir John Hindmarsh KH||28 December 1836||16 July 1838||1 year, 200 days|
|Governors appointed by Queen Victoria (1837–1901):|
|2||Lieutenant-Colonel George Gawler KH||17 October 1838||15 May 1841||2 years, 210 days|
|3||Sir George Grey KCB||15 May 1841||25 October 1845||4 years, 163 days|
|4||Lieutenant-Colonel Frederick Holt Robe||25 October 1845||2 August 1848||2 years, 282 days|
|5||Sir Henry Fox Young KCMG||2 August 1848||20 December 1854||6 years, 140 days|
|6||Sir Richard Graves MacDonnell KCMG, CB||8 June 1855||4 March 1862||6 years, 269 days|
|7||Sir Dominick Daly||4 March 1862||19 February 1868||5 years, 352 days|
|8||The Rt Hon. Sir James Fergusson Bt||16 February 1869||18 April 1873||4 years, 61 days|
|9||Sir Anthony Musgrave KCMG||9 June 1873||29 January 1877||3 years, 234 days|
|10||Lieutenant-General Sir William Jervois GCMG, CB||2 October 1877||9 January 1883||5 years, 99 days|
|11||Sir William Robinson GCMG||19 February 1883||5 March 1889||6 years, 14 days|
|12||The Rt Hon. Earl of Kintore GCMG||11 April 1889||10 April 1895||5 years, 364 days|
|13||Sir Thomas Buxton Bt, GCMG||29 October 1895||29 March 1899||3 years, 151 days|
|14||The Rt Hon. Lord Tennyson GCMG||10 April 1899||17 July 1902||3 years, 98 days|
|Governors appointed by King Edward VII (1901–1910):|
|15||Sir George Le Hunte KCMG||1 July 1903||18 February 1909||5 years, 232 days|
|16||Admiral Sir Day Bosanquet GCVO, KCB||18 February 1909||22 March 1914||5 years, 32 days|
|Governors appointed by King George V (1910–1936):|
|17||Lieutenant Colonel Sir Henry Galway KCMG, DSO||18 April 1914||30 April 1920||6 years, 12 days|
|18||Lieutenant Colonel Sir William Archibald Weigall KCMG||9 June 1920||30 May 1922||1 year, 355 days|
|19||Lieutenant-General Sir Tom Bridges KCB, KCMG, DSO||4 December 1922||4 December 1927||5 years, 0 days|
|20||Brigadier The Hon. Sir Alexander Hore-Ruthven VC, KCMG, CB, DSO*||14 May 1928||26 April 1934||5 years, 347 days|
|21||Major-General Sir Winston Dugan KCMG, CB, DSO||28 July 1934||23 February 1939||4 years, 210 days|
|Governors appointed by King George VI (1936–1952):|
|22||Sir Malcolm Barclay-Harvey KCMG||12 August 1939||26 April 1944||4 years, 258 days|
|23||Lieutenant-General Sir Willoughby Norrie KCMG, CB, DSO, MC||19 December 1944||19 June 1952||7 years, 183 days|
|Governors appointed by Queen Elizabeth II (since 1952):|
|24||Air Vice-Marshal Sir Robert George KCMG, KCVO, KBE, CB, MC||23 February 1953||7 March 1960||7 years, 13 days|
|25||Lieutenant-General Sir Edric Bastyan KCMG, KCVO, KBE, CB||4 April 1961||1 June 1968||7 years, 58 days|
|26||Major General Sir James Harrison KCMG, CB, CBE||4 December 1968||16 September 1971||2 years, 286 days|
|27||Professor Sir Mark Oliphant AC, KBE||1 December 1971||30 November 1976||4 years, 365 days|
|28||Sir Douglas Nicholls KCVO, OBE||1 December 1976||30 April 1977||150 days|
|29||Reverend Sir Keith Seaman KCVO, OBE||1 September 1977||28 March 1982||4 years, 208 days|
|30||Lieutenant General Sir Donald Dunstan AC, KBE, CB||23 April 1982||5 February 1991||8 years, 288 days|
|31||The Hon. Dame Roma Mitchell AC, DBE, CVO, QC||6 February 1991||21 July 1996||5 years, 166 days|
|32||Sir Eric Neal AC, CVO||22 July 1996||3 November 2001||5 years, 104 days|
|33||Marjorie Jackson-Nelson AC, CVO, MBE||3 November 2001||31 July 2007||5 years, 242 days|
|34||Rear Admiral The Hon. Kevin Scarce AC, CSC||8 August 2007||7 August 2014||6 years, 364 days|
|35||The Hon. Hieu Van Le AC||1 September 2014||present||4 years, 254 days|
Administrators and Lieutenant-Governors
These people administered the government in the absence of the official governor.
|George Milner Stephen||1838|
|Boyle Travers Finniss||1854-55|
|Lt.-Col. Francis Gilbert Hamley||1868-69|
|Major James Harwood Rocke||1870|
|Hon. Sir Richard Davies Hanson, Chief Justice||1872-73|
|Sir William Wellington Cairns, K.C.M.G||1877|
|Hon. Samuel James Way, Chief Justice, Lt.-Gov.||1877 to 1915 (on 65 separate occasions)|
|Hon. James Penn Boucaut, Judge of Supreme Court||1885, 1886, 1888, 1890, 1891, 1897|
|Hon. William Henry Bundey, Judge of Supreme Court||1888|
|Hon. Sir George John Robert Murray, Chief Justice, Lt.-Gov.||1916–24, 1926–42 (on 103 separate occasions)|
|Hon. Thomas Slaney Poole, Judge of Supreme Court||1925 (on 2 occasions)|
|Hon. Sir Herbert Angas Parsons, Judge of Supreme Court||1935 to 1942 (on 6 separate occasions)|
|Hon. Sir John Mellis Napier, Chief Justice, Lt.-Gov.||1942 to 1973 (on 179 separate occasions)|
|Hon. Sir Herbert Mayo, Judge of Supreme Court||1946 to 1965 (on 25 separate occasions)|
|Hon. Sir Geoffrey Sandford Reed, Judge of Supreme Court||1951 to 1957 (on 5 separate occasions)|
|Hon. John Jefferson Bray, Chief Justice||1968 to 1973 (on 8 separate occasions)|
|Hon. David Stirling Hogarth, Judge of Supreme Court||1971|
|Sir Walter Crocker, Lt.-Gov.||1973 to 1982 (on 29 separate occasions)|
|Hon. Sir Condor Laucke, Lt.-Gov.||1982 to 1992 (on 43 separate occasions)|
|Hon. Leonard James King, A.C., Chief Justice||1987|
|Hon. Dr. Basil Hetzel, Lt.-Gov.||1992 to 2000 (on 32 separate occasions)|
|Hon. John Doyle, Chief Justice||1999-2012 (on 10 separate occasions)|
|Hon. Bruno Krumins, Lt.-Gov.||2000-2007 (on 60 separate occasions)|
|Hon. John William Perry, Judge of Supreme Court||2002|
|Hon. Hieu Van Le, Lt.-Gov.||2007–2014|
|Hon. Brenda Wilson, Lt.-Gov.||2014–date|
Living former governors
Three former governors are alive, the oldest being Sir Eric Neal (1996–2001, born 1924). The latest-serving former governor to die was Dame Roma Mitchell (1991–1996), on 5 March 2000. The most recent death of a former governor was that of Sir Keith Seaman (1977-1982), on 30 June 2013.
|Name||Term as governor||Date of birth|
|Sir Eric Neal||1996–2001||3 June 1924|
|Marjorie Jackson-Nelson||2001–2007||13 September 1931|
|Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce||2007–2014||4 May 1952|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Governors of South Australia.|
- SA Government Gazette
- Former refugee Hieu Van Le sworn in as South Australia's governor during official ceremony, ABC News, 1 September 2014.
- Hieu Van Le to be next SA Governor, from war-torn Vietnam to vice-regal post: ABC 26 June 2014
- Kevin Scarce appointed SA governor by Premier Mike Rann Archived 31 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine, Press release, 3 May 2007, www.ministers.sa.gov.au
- "Role of the Governor". Government House South Australia. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
- "Table A: Governors and Administrators" (PDF). Parliament of South Australia. 2010. Retrieved 7 April 2013.