Governor-General of Australia
The governor-general of Australia is the representative of the monarch, currently King Charles III, in Australia. The governor-general is appointed by the monarch on the recommendation of government ministers. 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.
|Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia|
|Style||His Excellency the Honourable|
|Status||Representative of the Head of state|
Commander in chief
|Residence||Government House (Canberra)|
Admiralty House (Sydney)
|Nominator||Prime Minister of Australia|
|Appointer||Monarch of Australia|
on the advice of the prime minister
|Term length||At His Majesty's pleasure|
(usually 5 years by convention)
|Formation||1 January 1901|
|First holder||The Earl of Hopetoun|
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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 residences—Government House in the capital, Canberra, and Admiralty House in Sydney—and 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) 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. Since 1 July 2019, the governor-general has been General David Hurley.
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. 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.