The Australian Governor-General is officially appointed by the Queen as Head of State.
In practice, early Governors-General were appointed by the United Kingdom’s Colonial Secretary.
The appointment is now made solely on the recommendation of the Australian prime minister of the day.
Sir Isaac Isaacs was the first Australian-born Governor-General. His appointment by Labor Prime Minister Scullin in 1930 was reluctantly agreed to by King George V who wanted to appoint Field Marshal Sir William Birdwood. This was an important turning point in Australian control over the appointment.
There have been 5 former Australian politicians appointed Governor-General: Isaacs, McKell, Casey, Hasluck and Hayden. Lord Dudley, Lord Stonehaven, Lord Dunrossil and Lord De L’Isle were active in British politics.
High Court judges and senior military officers have also dominated the vice-regal appointment.
Quentin Bryce (2008-14) is the only woman to have held the post.
The Governor-General is now usually offered a 5-year term upon appointment.
|Australian Governors-General Since 1901|
|No.||Name||Commenced Office||Left Office||PM at time of appointment|
|John Adrian Louis, Earl of Hopetoun|
|Hallam, Baron Tennyson|
|Henry Stafford, Baron Northcote|
|William Humble, Earl of Dudley|
|Thomas, Baron Denman|
|Sir Ronald Crauford Munro-Ferguson|
|Henry William, Baron Forster of Lepe|
|John Lawrence, Baron Stonehaven|
|Sir Isaac Alfred Isaacs|
|Brigadier General Sir Alexander Hore-Ruthven, Baron Gowrie|
|Prince Henry William Frederick Albert, Duke of Gloucester, Earl of Ulster and Baron Culloden|
|Sir William John McKell|
|Field Marshall Sir William Joseph Slim|
|William Shepherd, Viscount Dunrossil||
Died in office
|William Philip, Viscount De L’Isle|
|Richard Gardiner, Baron Casey|
|Sir Paul Hasluck|
|Sir John Robert Kerr|
|Sir Zelman Cowen|
|Sir Ninian Martin Stephen|
|William George (Bill) Hayden|
|Sir William Patrick Deane|
|Archbishop Peter Hollingworth|
|Major-General Michael Jeffery|
|Dame Quentin Bryce|
|General Sir Peter Cosgrove|
- Aug 30, 2016: Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove’s Speech Opening The 45th Parliament
- Aug 30, 2016: 45th Parliament Opens; Members And Senators Sworn In; House Speaker And Senate President Re-Elected Unopposed
- Aug 18, 2016: Long Tan Commemoration: Cosgrove And Turnbull Pay Tribute On 50th Anniversary Of Vietnam Battle
- Aug 08, 2016: Writs Returned And The 2016 Federal Election Is Officially Over
- Jul 11, 2016: Governor-General Acts On Prime Minister Turnbull’s Advice; Caretaker Period Ends
- Jun 13, 2016: Political Figures Feature In Queen’s Birthday Honours
- May 09, 2016: Australian Parliament Dissolved; Governor-General’s Official Secretary Reads Proclamation
- May 08, 2016: Government House Releases Double Dissolution Documents
- May 08, 2016: Malcolm Turnbull Formally Announces July 2 Double Dissolution Election
- Apr 15, 2016: Parliament Prorogued; New Session Starts On Monday
- Mar 21, 2016: Turnbull Recalls Parliament On April 18 And Moves Budget To May 3; Threatens Double Dissolution On July 2 If Bills Not Passed
- Feb 18, 2016: Administrative Arrangements Order – Amendments
- Feb 18, 2016: Turnbull’s New Ministers Sworn In; Joyce Now Deputy PM
- Sep 26, 2014: My Story: Julia Gillard’s Book Launched By Quentin Bryce
- Jul 07, 2014: Senators Sworn In; New Balance Of Power As 2013 Federal Election Finally Complete