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Anglican Archbishop Peter Hollingworth Appointed Next Governor-General

The Anglican Archbishop of Brisbane, Peter Hollingworth, has been appointed the twenty-third Governor-General of Australia.

HollingworthThe Prime Minister, John Howard, has announced the decision this afternoon.

Archbishop Hollingworth will take up his appointment on Friday June 29. He succeeds Sir William Deane. Hollingworth’s name has not been mentioned in recent speculation about the position.

Hollingworth was born in 1935. He attended Scotch College in Melbourne. He attended the University of Melbourne, studied Theology and was ordained as an Anglican minister in 1960. He also trained as a social worker and was the director of the Brotherhood of St. Laurence, the organisation he worked for between 1964 and 1990. He was appointed Archbishop of Brisbane in 1990. In 1991, he was named Australian of the Year.

Hollingworth attended the Constitutional Convention in 1998 as an appointed delegate from Queensland. He favoured a republic, but ultimately abstained in the crucial vote that led to the submission of a republican model to the electorate in the 1999 referendum.

In a sermon he gave in 1999, Hollingworth said: “When we talk about legal and political authority, we should first recall, with St Paul in his Letter to the Romans, Chapter 13 that “There is no authority except from God, and those authorities that exist have been instituted by God”. Each of us has to remember that whatever authority we may exercise, ultimately we are people who stand under authority, seeking to be obedient to it.”

At his press conference announcing the decision this afternoon, Howard said that it was fitting that Hollingworth, an Anglican, should succeed Deane, a Catholic, and Hayden, an atheist.

The Governor-General is appointed by the Prime Minister on advice to the Queen. Section 2 of the Constitution says:

A Governor-General appointed by the Queen shall be Her Majesty’s representative in the Commonwealth, and shall have and may exercise in the Commonwealth during the Queen’s pleasure, but subject to this Constitution, such powers and functions of the Queen as Her Majesty may be pleased to assign to him.

The Governor-General serves at the “Queen’s pleasure”, but it is the practice that the appointment is for 5 years.

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Malcolm Farnsworth
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