Governor of Queensland

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Governor of Queensland
Badge of the Governor of Queensland.svg
Badge of the Governor
Paul de Jersey

since 29 July 2014
Style His Excellency
Residence Government House, Brisbane
Appointer Australian monarch
Term length At Her Majesty's pleasure
Formation 10 December 1859
First holder Sir George Bowen
Website Office of the Governor

The Governor of Queensland is the representative in the state of Queensland of the Queen of Australia. In an analogous way to the Governor-General of Australia at the national level, the Governor performs constitutional and ceremonial functions at the state level. In particular the Governor has the power to appoint and dismiss the Premier of Queensland and all other Ministers in the Cabinet, and issue writs for the election of the state Parliament.

The current Governor, Paul de Jersey, was sworn in on 29 July 2014.[1]

As from June 2014, The Queen, upon the recommendation of then-Premier Campbell Newman, accorded all current, future and living former Governors the title 'The Honourable' in perpetuity.[2]

Official residence

Standard of the Governor of Queensland
Standard of the Governor of Queensland 1901-1952, bearing a Tudor crown

The Governor of Queensland has resided at Government House, Brisbane since 1910. The mansion, set in 14 hectares of gardens and bushland in the Brisbane suburb of Bardon, is also known as "Fernberg". Unlike Fernberg, the original Government House was purpose-built and was used from 1862 to 1910; the building still exists today on the grounds of Queensland University of Technology.

Constitutional provisions

The office of Governor is established by the Constitution of Queensland. Section 29 of the Constitution as passed in 2001 provides that the office of Governor must exist and be appointed by the Sovereign, but parts of the earlier Constitution Act of 1867 relating to the Governor are still in force owing to the double entrenchment of them within the constitution by the government of Joh Bjelke-Petersen, who feared that the office and powers of state Governor might be abolished following the controversies of the 1975 Australian constitutional crisis at a federal level.

In accordance with the conventions of the Westminster system of parliamentary government, the Governor nearly always acts solely on the advice of the head of the elected government, the Premier of Queensland. Nevertheless, the Governor retains the reserve powers of the Crown, and has the right to appoint and dismiss Ministers, issue pardons, and dissolve Parliament.

The Queensland constitution expressly provides that the Governor is not subject to direction by any person and is not limited as to the Governor's sources of advice on the appointment or dismissal of Ministers (s. 35), another provision inserted by the Bjelke-Petersen government in the wake of the 1975 federal dismissal. This provision worked against Bjelke-Petersen when, in the dying days of his government in November 1987, he tried and failed to convince Governor Sir Walter Campbell to remove several ministers to shore up his own support within Parliament. When the parliamentary wing of the National Party deposed Bjelke-Petersen and elected one of the dissident ministers, Mike Ahern, as new Leader of the National Party, Sir Joh initially refused to resign as Premier and Sir Walter resisted calls to dismiss him. Sir Joh elected to resign on 1 December 1987.

The Governor is head of the Executive Council, a Queensland equivalent to the Federal Executive Council. The Council is composed of ministers from the government of the day. The Chief Justice of Queensland and other judges in the Queensland judicial system are appointed by the Governor acting on the advice of the Executive Council.

List of Governors of Queensland

The first Australian- (and Queensland-) born Governor of Queensland was Lieutenant-General Sir John Lavarack (appointed 1946). His successor, Sir Henry Abel Smith was British. All subsequent governors have been Australian-born, except for Leneen Forde, who was born in Canada but who emigrated to Australia at an early age.

No. Image Governor[3][4] From To Time in Office
1 George Bowen b.jpg The Rt. Hon. Sir George Bowen, GCMG 10 December 1859 4 January 1868 8 years, 25 days
2 Samuel Blackall.jpg Colonel Sir Samuel Blackall 14 August 1868 2 January 1871 2 years, 141 days
3 GeorgePhipps2ndMarquessOfNormanby.jpg The Most Hon. George Phipps, 2nd Marquess of Normanby, GCB, GCMG, PC 12 August 1871 12 November 1874 3 years, 92 days
4 William Cairns.jpg Sir William Cairns, KCMG 23 January 1875 14 March 1877 2 years, 50 days
5 ArthurEdwardKennedy.jpg Sir Arthur Kennedy, CB 20 July 1877 2 May 1883 5 years, 286 days
6 AnthonyMusgrave.jpg Sir Anthony Musgrave, KCMG 6 November 1883 9 November 1888 5 years, 3 days
7 StateLibQld 1 113832 Sir Henry Wylie Norman.jpg Field Marshal Sir Henry Norman , GCB, GCMG, CIE 1 May 1889 31 December 1895 6 years, 244 days
8 Baron Lamington.jpg The Rt. Hon. Lord Lamington, GCMG, GCIE 9 April 1896 19 December 1901 5 years, 254 days
9 Sir Herbert Chermside.jpg Lieutenant General Sir Herbert Chermside , GCMG, CB 24 March 1902 10 October 1904 2 years, 200 days
10 Chelmsford Governor.jpg The Rt. Hon. Frederic Thesiger, 1st Viscount Chelmsford, GCSI, GCMG, GCIE, GBE, PC 30 November 1905 26 May 1909 3 years, 177 days
11 StateLibQld 1 138019 Sir William MacGregor in ceremonial gown as Governor of Queensland.jpg The Rt. Hon. Sir William MacGregor, GCMG, CB 2 December 1909 16 July 1914 4 years, 226 days
12 80px Major Sir Hamilton Goold-Adams, GCMG, CB 15 March 1915 3 February 1920 4 years, 325 days
13 Sir Matthew Nathan.jpg Lieutenant Colonel Sir Matthew Nathan, GCMG 3 December 1920 17 September 1925 4 years, 288 days
14 Sir John Goodwin.jpg Lieutenant General Sir John Goodwin, KCB, KCMG, DSO 13 June 1927 7 April 1932 4 years, 299 days
15 Sir Leslie Wilson.jpg The Rt. Hon. Sir Leslie Wilson, GCMG, GCSI, GCIE, DSO, PC 13 June 1932 23 April 1946 13 years, 314 days
16 Sir John Lavarack.jpg Lieutenant General Sir John Lavarack, KCMG, KCVO, KBE, CB, DSO 1 October 1946 4 December 1957 11 years, 64 days
17 Henry Abel Smith and May Ella Emma Cambridge.jpg Colonel Sir Henry Abel Smith, KCMG, KCVO, DSO 18 March 1958 18 March 1966 8 years, 0 days
18 Justice Alan Mansfield Brisbane 1945.jpg Sir Alan Mansfield, KCMG, KCVO 21 March 1966 21 March 1972 6 years, 0 days
19 Caf hannah.jpg Air Marshal Sir Colin Hannah, KCMG, KCVO, KBE, CB 21 March 1972 20 March 1977 5 years, 213 days
20 Badge of the Governor of Queensland.svg Commodore Sir James Ramsay, KCMG, KCVO, CBE, DSC 22 April 1977 21 July 1985 8 years, 90 days
21 Badge of the Governor of Queensland.svg Sir Walter Campbell, AC, QC 22 July 1985 29 July 1992 7 years, 7 days
22 Badge of the Governor of Queensland.svg Leneen Forde, AC 29 July 1992 29 July 1997 5 years, 0 days
23 Badge of the Governor of Queensland.svg Major General Peter Arnison, AC, CVO 29 July 1997 29 July 2003 6 years, 0 days
24 Governor-General of Australia, Quentin Bryce.jpg Quentin Bryce, AC 29 July 2003 29 July 2008 5 years, 0 days
25 Penny Wensley (1).jpg Penelope Wensley, AC 29 July 2008 29 July 2014 6 years, 0 days
26 US Navy 110507-N-1X994-001 Members of the U.S. 7th Fleet Band are inspected by acting Governor and Chief Justice of Queensland the Honorable Paul d.jpg Paul de Jersey, AC, QC 29 July 2014 Present 4 years, 177 days

Living former governors

Four former governors of Queensland are alive, the oldest being Leneen Forde (1992–97, born 1935).

Name Term as governor Date of birth
Leneen Forde 1992–1997 (1935-05-12) 12 May 1935 (age 83)
Peter Arnison 1997–2003 (1940-10-21) 21 October 1940 (age 78)
Dame Quentin Bryce 2003–2008 (1942-12-23) 23 December 1942 (age 76)
Penelope Wensley 2008–2014 (1946-10-18) 18 October 1946 (age 72)

The most recent death of a former governor was that of Sir Walter Campbell (1985–92), on 4 September 2004.

List of Lieutenant-Governors of Queensland

The following are the lieutenant governors of Queensland:[5]

Name Term Notes
Arthur Hunter Palmer 15 November 1895 — 9 April 1896 Lieutenant Governor Administrator
Samuel Griffith 21 December 1901 — 24 March 1902 Lieutenant Governor
Hugh Muir Nelson 10 October 1904 — 30 November 1905 Lieutenant Governor
Arthur Morgan 27 May 1909 — 2 December 1909 Lieutenant Governor
Arthur Morgan 16 July 1914 — 15 March 1915 Lieutenant Governor
William Lennon 3 February 1920 — 3 December 1920 Lieutenant Governor
William Lennon 17 September 1925 — 13 June 1927 Lieutenant Governor
William Lennon 8 May 1929 — 2 June 1929 Lieutenant Governor
Frank Cooper 24 April 1946 — 30 September 1946 Lieutenant Governor


  1. "Queensland Governor Paul de Jersey sworn in at Parliament House". ABC News. 29 July 2014. Retrieved 29 July 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Queensland Government Gazette page 15
  3. Governors of QueenslandThe Official Website of the Governor of Queensland
  4. History of Queensland GovernorsGovernment of Queensland Website
  5. "Queensland Governors". Queensland Government. Retrieved 8 March 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links