Richard McGarvie

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Richard McGarvie
24th Governor of Victoria
In office
23 April 1992 – 23 April 1997
MonarchElizabeth II
Preceded byDavis McCaughey
Succeeded bySir James Gobbo
Personal details
Born(1926-05-21)21 May 1926
Colac, Victoria
Died24 May 2003(2003-05-24) (aged 77)
Caulfield, Victoria
SpouseLesley McGarvie (née Kerr)
Alma materUniversity of Melbourne
ProfessionBarrister, judge
Military service
Branch/serviceRoyal Australian Navy
Years of service1944–1946
RankAble Seaman
UnitHMAS Cerberus
HMAS Arunta
Battles/warsSecond World War

Richard Elgin McGarvie, AC, QC (21 May 1926 – 24 May 2003) was a judge in the Supreme Court of Victoria from 1976 to 1992, and the 24th Governor of Victoria from 1992 to 1997.

Early life[edit]

McGarvie was born and brought up on his parents' dairy farm at Pomborneit East in Victoria. After finishing first place at Camperdown High School, he entered the Royal Australian Navy in 1944, training at HMAS Cerberus and serving on the destroyer, HMAS Arunta. The Second World War ended before he saw active service. He served with the British Commonwealth Occupation Force in Japan and was discharged as an able seaman in 1946.

McGarvie joined the Australian Labor Party in 1949 and took a leading role in the dismissal of its Victorian socialist-left dominated Central Executive by bringing about federal intervention.

Legal career[edit]

McGarvie studied law at the University of Melbourne and graduated in 1950, winning the Supreme Court Prize for the top honours student of the year. Joining the Victorian Bar in 1952, he became Queen's Counsel, chair of the Victorian Bar Council (1973–1975), Treasurer of Law Council of Australia (1974–1976), and Chancellor of La Trobe University (1981–1992).[1]

McGarvie was appointed to the Supreme Court of Victoria on 1 June 1976, resigning all political affiliations, and served as a judge until 22 April 1992. He was appointed Governor of Victoria from 1992 to 1997.

Constitutional influence[edit]

Author of the McGarvie Model, McGarvie was an appointed delegate to Constitutional Convention on an Australian republic in February 1998,[2] and initiated the 2001 Corowa conference to find common ground among republicans after the referendum defeat in 1999. He took the unusual position of making contributions to republicanism, without directly supporting the broader republican movement. He promoted his own model and at the 1998 convention argued the provision for two-thirds parliamentary dismissal of a president was unworkable.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Past Chancellors and Vice-Chancellors". Our history. La Trobe University. 16 March 2018. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  2. ^ Vizard, Steve, Two Weeks in Lilliput: Bear Baiting and Backbiting At the Constitutional Convention (Penguin, 1998, ISBN 0-14-027983-0)

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by Governor of Victoria
Succeeded by
Academic offices
Preceded by
Sir Reginald Smithers
Chancellor of La Trobe University
Succeeded by