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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2007  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/01/2007   
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Contents >> Government >> The Governor-General

THE GOVERNOR-GENERAL

The Governor-General is the representative of the Sovereign, appointed by the Sovereign on the advice of the Australian Prime Minister.

His Excellency Major General Michael Jeffery AC, CVO, MC (Retd) has been Governor-General since 11 August 2003.

POWERS AND FUNCTIONS

The Governor-General exercises the executive power of the Commonwealth of Australia on the advice of the Prime Minister. Certain other powers and functions conferred by the Constitution include the powers to:

  • appoint times for holding the sessions of the Parliament
  • prorogue Parliament
  • dissolve the House of Representatives
  • dissolve the House of Representatives and the Senate in the event of a double dissolution
  • cause writs to be issued for general elections of members of the House of Representatives
  • assent in the Queen's name to a proposed law passed by both Houses of the Parliament
  • appoint and summon executive councillors
  • appoint ministers of state for the Commonwealth of Australia.

In addition, the Governor-General, as the Queen's representative, is Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces. Many Acts of the Commonwealth Parliament provide that the Governor-General may make Regulations to give effect to such Acts. The Governor-General may also be authorised by statute to issue proclamations, for example, to declare an Act in force. The Governor-General has been given power by statute to legislate for certain Australian territories.

In all such matters the Governor-General acts on the advice of the Prime Minister.

The Governor-General also possesses what are referred to as 'reserve powers'. These may be used without the advice of the Prime Minister, but are used only in times of political uncertainty.

The Queen may appoint an Administrator of the Commonwealth when the Governor-General is out of the country, ill or when the position of Governor-General is vacant. By convention, the longest-serving state governor is appointed as Administrator.

PREVIOUS GOVERNORS-GENERAL

Those persons who have held the office of Governor-General from the inception of the Commonwealth of Australia until 1988 are pictured in Year Book Australia 1988. Pictures of all holders of the office can be found below.


Image - Rt Hon. John Adrian Louis Hope, 7th Earl of Hopetoun
Image - Rt Hon. Hallam Tennyson, 2nd Baron Tennyson
Image - Rt Hon. Henry Stafford Northcote, 1st Baron Northcote
Rt Hon. John Adrian Louis Hope, 7th Earl of Hopetoun,
PC, KT, GCMG, GCVO
Rt Hon. Hallam Tennyson, 2nd Baron Tennyson,
PC, GCMG
Rt Hon. Henry Stafford Northcote, 1st Baron Northcote,
PC, GCMG, GCIE, CB
1901-03
1903-04
1904-08
Image - Rt Hon. William Humble Ward, 2nd Earl of Dudley
Image - Rt Hon. Thomas Denman, 3rd Baron Denman
Image - Rt Hon. Sir Ronald Craufurd Munro-Ferguson
Rt Hon. William Humble Ward, 2nd Earl of Dudley,
PC, GCB, GCMG, GCVO
Rt Hon. Thomas Denman, 3rd Baron Denman,
PC, GCMG, KCVO
Rt Hon. Sir Ronald Craufurd Munro-Ferguson,
GCMG
1908-11
1911-14
1914-20
Image - Rt Hon. Henry William Forster, 1st Baron Forster
Image - Rt Hon. John Lawrence Baird, 1st Baron Stonehaven
Image - Rt Hon. Sir Isaac Alfred Isaacs
Rt Hon. Henry William Forster, 1st Baron Forster,
PC, GCMG
Rt Hon. John Lawrence Baird, 1st Baron Stonehaven,
PC, GCMG, DSO
Rt Hon. Sir Isaac Alfred Isaacs,
GCB, GCMG, KC
1920-25
1925-31
1931-36
Image - Brigadier-General the Rt  Hon. Alexander Gore Arkwright Hore-Ruthven, 1st Baron Gowrie
Image - His Royal Highness Prince Henry William Frederick Albert, Duke of Gloucester, Earl of Ulster and Baron Cullodenj
Image - Rt Hon. Sir William John McKell
Brigadier General the Rt Hon. Alexander Gore Arkwright Hore-Ruthven, 1st Baron Gowrie,
VC, PC, GCMG, CB, DSO, KGStJ
His Royal Highness Prince Henry William Frederick Albert, Duke of Gloucester, Earl of Ulster and Baron Culloden
KG, PC, KT, KP, GCB, GCMG, GCVO
Rt Hon. Sir William John McKell,
GCMG, QC
1936-45
1945-47
1947-53
Image - Field Marshal Sir William Joseph Slim
Image - Rt Hon. William Shepherd Morrison, 1st Viscount Dunrossil
Image - Rt Hon. William Phillip Sidney De L'Isle, 1st Viscount De Lisle
Field Marshal Sir William Joseph Slim, 1st Viscount Slim (Yarralumla and Bishopston),
KG, GCB, GCMG, GCVO, GBE, DSO, MC, KStJ
Rt Hon. William Shepherd Morrison, 1st Viscount Dunrossil,
PC, GCMG, MC, KStJ, QC
Rt Hon. William Phillip Sidney De L'Isle, 1st Viscount De Lisle,
VC, PC, GCMG, GCVO, KStJ
1953-60
1960-61
1961-65
Image - Rt Hon. Richard Gardiner Casey, Baron Casey
Image - Rt Hon. Sir Paul Meernaa Caedwalla Hasluck
Image - Rt Hon. Sir John Robert Kerr
Rt Hon. Richard Gardiner Casey, Baron Casey,
KG, PC, GCMG, CH, DSO, MC, KStJ
Rt Hon. Sir Paul Meernaa Caedwalla Hasluck,
GCMG, GCVO, KStJ
Rt Hon. Sir John Robert Kerr,
AK, GCMG, KStJ, QC
1965-69
1969-74
1974-77
Image - Rt Hon. Sir Zelman Cowan
Image - Rt Hon. Sir Ninian Stephen
Image - The Honourable  William George Hayden
Rt Hon. Sir Zelman Cowan,
AK, GCMG, GCVO, KStJ, QC
Rt Hon. Sir Ninian Stephen,
KG, AK, GCMG, GCVO, KBE, QC
The Honourable William
George Hayden
,
AC
1977-82
1982-89
1989-96
Image - The Honourable Sir William Patrick Deane
Image - The Right Reverend Dr Peter John Hollingworth
Image - His Excellency, Major General Michael Jeffery
The Honourable Sir William Patrick Deane,
AC, KBE
The Right Reverend Dr Peter Hollingworth,
AC, OBE
His Excellency, Major General Michael Jeffery,
AC, CVO, MC (Retd)
1996-2001
2001-03
2003-


LIST OF HONOURS, AND QUALIFICATIONS AWARDED TO AUSTRALIAN GOVERNORS-GENERAL
ACCompanion of the Order of Australia
AKKnight of the Order of Australia
CBCompanion of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath
CHCompanion of Honour
CVOCommander of the Royal Victorian Order
DSOCompanion of the Distinguished Service Order
GBEKnight Grand Cross of the order of the British Empire
GCBKnight Grand Cross of the order of the Bath
GCIEKnight Grand Cross of the Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire
GCMGKnight Grand Cross of the order of St Michael and St George
GCVOKnight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order
KBEKnight Commander of the order of the British Empire
KCKings Council
KCVOKnight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order
KGKnight of the Garter
KGStJKnight of Grace, Order of St John of Jerusalem
KPKnight of the Most Illustrious Order of Saint Patrick
KStJKnight, Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem
KTKnight of the Thistle
MCMilitary Cross
OBEOfficer of the Order of the British Empire
PCPrivy Councillor
QCQueens Council
VCVictoria Cross



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