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|
- Mar 25, 2014: Dame Quentin Bryce, 25th Governor-General Of Australia, Farewelled In Canberra
- Mar 25, 2014: Arise Dame Quentin And Sir Peter: Abbott Reintroduces Knights And Dames For “Pre-Eminent Australians”
- Jan 28, 2014: General Peter Cosgrove Appointed Governor-General
- Dec 26, 2013: General Peter Cosgrove Reportedly Abbott’s Choice For Next Governor-General
- Nov 24, 2013: Governor-General Quentin Bryce Calls For A Republic And Same-Sex Marriage
- Nov 12, 2013: Governor-General Quentin Bryce Opens 44th Parliament
- Nov 04, 2013: Governor-General’s Proclamation Summoning Parliament
- Oct 13, 2013: Abbott Rejects Governor-General’s Offer To Resign Over Shorten
- Sep 18, 2013: Tony Abbott Sworn In As Australia’s 28th Prime Minister
- Sep 17, 2013: Why Is Kevin Rudd Still Prime Minister?