List of governors-general of Australia

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Governor-General of Australia
Coat of Arms of Australia.svg
Badge of the Governor-General of Australia.svg
David Hurley official photo (cropped).jpg
Incumbent
David Hurley

since 1 July 2019 (2019-07-01)

The Governor-General of Australia is the head of the executive branch of the federal government, serving as the representative of the Australian monarch (currently Elizabeth II). The position came into being with the adoption of the new national constitution on 1 January 1901, and has been held by 27 people since then. Governors-general have no fixed term, but have usually served for around five years.

Background[edit]

For the first two decades after federation, governors-general were selected solely by the British Government. The monarch was consulted on the decision into the 1930s. The first four governors-general were peers; Sir Ronald Munro Ferguson (appointed 1914) was the first commoner to hold the position, although he was also later elevated to the peerage. In 1920, Billy Hughes became the first Prime Minister to be consulted over the governor-generalship. Stanley Bruce (1925) and Joseph Lyons (1935) either asked for or were given a list of suitable candidates to choose from.

James Scullin (1930) became the first Prime Minister of Australia to exercise complete discretion in the appointment; his nomination of Sir Isaac Isaacs made Australia the first Dominion to have a native-born governor-general. In 1945, John Curtin nominated Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, to the post – the first and only royal officeholder. A second Australian (William McKell) was appointed in 1947; he was followed by three more Britons, each chosen by Sir Robert Menzies. Menzies's fourth nomination was Richard Casey, who took office in 1965; he and all subsequent governors-general have been Australian citizens. All states except South Australia and Tasmania have provided at least one appointee. The first female governor-general, Quentin Bryce, took office in 2008.

On 16 December 2018, prime minister Scott Morrison announced that the next Governor-General would be General David Hurley, then-governor of New South Wales. To provide continuity through general elections both federally and in New South Wales, Hurley succeeded General Sir Peter Cosgrove, who had planned to retire in March 2019, on 1 July 2019.[1][2]

List[edit]

No. Portrait Governor-General Term of office Length Occupation Monarch(s) Prime Minister(s)
1 Lord Hopetoun 1902.jpg John Hope, Earl of Hopetoun 1 January 1901 17 July 1902[a] 1 year, 197 days Statesman, aristocrat Victoria
(1837–1901)
Barton
Edward VII
(1901–1910)
2 Hallam Tennyson.jpg Hallam Tennyson, Baron Tennyson 9 January 1903 21 January 1904 1 year, 12 days Aristocrat
Deakin
3 Lord Northcote.jpg Henry Northcote, Baron Northcote 21 January 1904 9 September 1908 4 years, 232 days Politician
Watson
Reid
Deakin
4 William Ward, 2nd Earl of Dudley.jpg William Ward, Earl of Dudley 9 September 1908 31 July 1911 2 years, 325 days Aristocrat, military officer, politician
Fisher
Deakin
Fisher
George V
(1910–1936)
5 Lord Denman.jpg Thomas Denman, Baron Denman 31 July 1911 18 May 1914 2 years, 291 days Aristocrat, politician
Cook
6 Ronald Munro Ferguson (Barnett-02).jpg Sir Ronald Munro Ferguson 18 May 1914 6 October 1920 6 years, 141 days Politician
Fisher
Hughes
7 Henry Forster, 1st Baron Forster circa 1925.jpg Henry Forster, Baron Forster 6 October 1920 8 October 1925 5 years, 2 days Politician
Bruce
8 Ac.stonehaven.jpg John Baird, Baron Stonehaven 8 October 1925 2 October 1930[b] 4 years, 359 days Politician
Scullin
9 Isaac Isaacs 1936.jpg Sir Isaac Isaacs 21 January 1931 23 January 1936 5 years, 2 days Lawyer, politician, judge
Lyons
Edward VIII
(1936)
10 Lord Gowrie 1936.jpg Alexander Hore-Ruthven, Baron Gowrie 23 January 1936 30 January 1945 9 years, 7 days Army office
George VI
(1936–1952)
Page
Menzies
Fadden
Curtin
11 Dukeofgloucester.jpg Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester 30 January 1945 11 March 1947 2 years, 40 days Prince, military officer
Forde
Chifley
12 Williammckell.jpg Sir William McKell 11 March 1947 8 May 1953 6 years, 58 days Politician
Menzies
Elizabeth II
(1952–present)
13 William Slim, 1950.jpg Sir William Slim 8 May 1953 2 February 1960 6 years, 270 days Military commander
14 Lord Dunrossil-02.jpg William Morrison, Viscount Dunrossil 2 February 1960 3 February 1961[c] 1 year, 1 day Politician
15 Lord De L'Isle.jpg William Sidney, Viscount De L'Isle 3 August 1961 7 May 1965 3 years, 277 days Army officer, politician
16 Richard Casey 1965.jpg Richard Casey, Baron Casey 7 May 1965 30 April 1969 3 years, 358 days Statesman
Holt
McEwen
Gorton
17 Paulhasluck.jpg Sir Paul Hasluck 30 April 1969 11 July 1974 5 years, 72 days Statesman
McMahon
Whitlam
18 John Kerr 1965.jpg Sir John Kerr 11 July 1974 8 December 1977 3 years, 150 days Lawyer, judge
Fraser
19 Zelman Cowen.jpg Sir Zelman Cowen 8 December 1977 29 July 1982 4 years, 233 days Academic
20 Sir Ninian Stephen.jpg Sir Ninian Stephen 29 July 1982 16 February 1989 6 years, 202 days Barrister, judge
Hawke
21 Bill Hayden on 29.5.1990.jpg Bill Hayden 16 February 1989 16 February 1996 7 years, 0 days Politician
Keating
22 William Deane official portrait.jpg Sir William Deane 16 February 1996 29 June 2001 5 years, 133 days Lawyer, judge
Howard
23 Dr Peter Hollingworth.jpg Peter Hollingworth 29 June 2001 28 May 2003[d] 1 year, 333 days Anglican bishop
24 Jeffery Michael 030238DI-002.jpg Michael Jeffery 11 August 2003 5 September 2008 5 years, 25 days Army officer
Rudd
25 Quentin Bryce No.1 (cropped).jpg Dame Quentin Bryce 5 September 2008 28 March 2014 5 years, 204 days Academic
Gillard
Rudd
Abbott
26 Peter Cosgrove 2017 (1) crop.jpg Sir Peter Cosgrove 28 March 2014 1 July 2019 5 years, 95 days Military officer
Turnbull
Morrison
27 David Hurley official photo (cropped).jpg David Hurley 1 July 2019 incumbent 224 days Military officer

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Hopetoun left for England on 17 July 1902. Lord Tennyson, the Governor of South Australia, was appointed Administrator of the Government until formally taking over the governor-generalship on 9 January 1903.
  2. ^ Stonehaven left for England on 2 October 1930. Lord Somers, the Governor of Victoria, was appointed Administrator of the Government until Sir Isaac Isaacs took over the governor-generalship on 21 January 1931.
  3. ^ Dunrossil died in office on 3 February 1961. Sir Dallas Brooks, the Governor of Victoria, was appointed Administrator of the Government until Lord De L'Isle took over the governor-generalship on 3 August 1961.
  4. ^ Hollingworth resigned on 28 May 2003. Sir Guy Green, the Governor of Tasmania, was appointed Administrator of the Government until Michael Jeffery took over the governor-generalship on 11 August 2003.
  1. ^ "Australia's New Governor-General". Prime Minister of Australia. 16 December 2018. Retrieved 16 December 2018.
  2. ^ Karp, Paul; Cox, Lisa (16 December 2018). "David Hurley named next governor general of Australia". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 December 2018.

Further reading[edit]

  • Christopher Cunneen (1983). Kings' Men: Australia's Governors-General from Hopetoun to Isaacs. Allen and Unwin. ISBN 0-86861-238-3.
  • Bill Hayden (1996). Hayden: An Autobiography. Angus & Robertson. ISBN 0-207-18769-X. (pp 515, 519, 548)

External links[edit]