Governor-General of Australia

The governor-general of Australia is the representative of the monarch, currently King Charles III, in Australia.[3][4] The governor-general is appointed by the monarch on the recommendation of government ministers.[5] The governor-general has formal presidency over the Federal Executive Council and is commander-in-chief of the Australian Defence Force. The functions of the governor-general include appointing ministers, judges, and ambassadors; giving royal assent to legislation passed by parliament; issuing writs for election; and bestowing Australian honours.[6]

Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia
David Hurley

since 1 July 2019
StyleHis Excellency the Honourable
StatusRepresentative of the Head of state
Commander in chief
ResidenceGovernment House (Canberra)
Admiralty House (Sydney)
NominatorPrime Minister of Australia
AppointerMonarch of Australia
on the advice of the prime minister
Term lengthAt His Majesty's pleasure
(usually 5 years by convention)[1]
Formation1 January 1901
First holderThe Earl of Hopetoun

In general, the governor-general observes the conventions of the Westminster system and responsible government, maintaining a political neutrality, and acts only on the advice of the prime minister or other ministers or, in certain cases, parliament. The governor-general also has a ceremonial role: hosting events at either of the two official residencesGovernment House in the capital, Canberra, and Admiralty House in Sydneyand travelling throughout Australia to open conferences, attend services and commemorations, and generally provide encouragement to individuals and groups who are contributing to their communities. When travelling abroad, the governor-general is seen as the representative of Australia and its king. The governor-general is supported by a staff (of 80 in 2018[7]) headed by the official secretary to the governor-general of Australia.

A governor-general is not appointed for a specific term, but is generally expected to serve for five years subject to a possible short extension.[6] Since 1 July 2019, the governor-general has been General David Hurley.[8][9]

From Federation in 1901 until 1965, 11 out of the 15 governors-general were British aristocrats; they included six barons, two viscounts, two earls, and one royal duke.[10] Since then, all but one of the governors-general have been Australian-born; the exception, Sir Ninian Stephen, arrived in Australia as a teenager. Only one governor-general, Dame Quentin Bryce (2008–2014), has been a woman.

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