Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Governors of New South Wales

Governors of New South Wales

Overview
The Governor of New South Wales is the state viceregal
Viceroy
A viceroy is a royal official who runs a country, colony, or province in the name of and as representative of the monarch. The term derives from the Latin prefix vice-, meaning "in the place of" and the French word roi, meaning king. A viceroy's province or larger territory is called a viceroyalty...

 representative of the Australian monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, who is equally shared with 15 other sovereign nations
Commonwealth Realm
A Commonwealth realm is a sovereign state within the Commonwealth of Nations that has Elizabeth II as its monarch and head of state. The sixteen current realms have a combined land area of 18.8 million km² , and a population of 134 million, of which all, except about two million, live in the six...

 in a form of personal union
Personal union
A personal union is the combination by which two or more different states have the same monarch while their boundaries, their laws and their interests remain distinct. It should not be confused with a federation which is internationally considered a single state...

, as well as with the eleven other jurisdictions of Australia
Federalism in Australia
On 1 January 1901 the Australian nation emerged as a federation. The model of Australian federalism adheres closely to the original model of the United States of America.- Federal features in the Australian Constitution :...

, and resides predominantly in her oldest realm, the United Kingdom. On the advice
Advice (constitutional)
Advice, in constitutional law, is formal, usually binding, instruction given by one constitutional officer of state to another. Especially in parliamentary systems of government, Heads of state often act on the basis of advice issued by prime ministers or other government ministers...

 of her New South Wales Premier only, the Queen appoints the Governor to carry out most of her constitutional and ceremonial duties for an unfixed period of time—known as serving At Her Majesty's pleasure
At Her Majesty's pleasure
At Her Majesty's pleasure is a legal term of art derived from all legitimate authority for government stemming from the Crown. Originating from the United Kingdom, it is now used throughout the Commonwealth realms...

—though five years is the normal convention.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Governors of New South Wales'
Start a new discussion about 'Governors of New South Wales'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
The Governor of New South Wales is the state viceregal
Viceroy
A viceroy is a royal official who runs a country, colony, or province in the name of and as representative of the monarch. The term derives from the Latin prefix vice-, meaning "in the place of" and the French word roi, meaning king. A viceroy's province or larger territory is called a viceroyalty...

 representative of the Australian monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, who is equally shared with 15 other sovereign nations
Commonwealth Realm
A Commonwealth realm is a sovereign state within the Commonwealth of Nations that has Elizabeth II as its monarch and head of state. The sixteen current realms have a combined land area of 18.8 million km² , and a population of 134 million, of which all, except about two million, live in the six...

 in a form of personal union
Personal union
A personal union is the combination by which two or more different states have the same monarch while their boundaries, their laws and their interests remain distinct. It should not be confused with a federation which is internationally considered a single state...

, as well as with the eleven other jurisdictions of Australia
Federalism in Australia
On 1 January 1901 the Australian nation emerged as a federation. The model of Australian federalism adheres closely to the original model of the United States of America.- Federal features in the Australian Constitution :...

, and resides predominantly in her oldest realm, the United Kingdom. On the advice
Advice (constitutional)
Advice, in constitutional law, is formal, usually binding, instruction given by one constitutional officer of state to another. Especially in parliamentary systems of government, Heads of state often act on the basis of advice issued by prime ministers or other government ministers...

 of her New South Wales Premier only, the Queen appoints the Governor to carry out most of her constitutional and ceremonial duties for an unfixed period of time—known as serving At Her Majesty's pleasure
At Her Majesty's pleasure
At Her Majesty's pleasure is a legal term of art derived from all legitimate authority for government stemming from the Crown. Originating from the United Kingdom, it is now used throughout the Commonwealth realms...

—though five years is the normal convention. Once in office, these individuals maintain direct contact with the Queen, wherever she may be at the time.

The office has its origin in the 18th-century colonial governors of New South Wales
New South Wales
New South Wales is a state of :Australia, located in the east of the country. It is bordered by Queensland, Victoria and South Australia to the north, south and west respectively. To the east, the state is bordered by the Tasman Sea, which forms part of the Pacific Ocean. New South Wales...

 upon its settlement in 1788, and thus is the oldest continuous institution in Australia. The present incarnation of the position emerged with the Federation of Australia
Federation of Australia
The Federation of Australia was the process by which the six separate British self-governing colonies of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia formed one nation...

 and the New South Wales Constitution Act 1902, which defined the viceregal office as the Governor acting by and with the Advice of the Executive Council of New South Wales
Executive Council of New South Wales
The Executive Council of New South Wales is the cabinet of that Australian state, consisting of the Ministers, presided over by the Governor .-Role and history:...

. However, the post still ultimately represented the government of the United Kingdom until, after continually decreasing involvement by the British government, the passage in 1942 of the Statute of Westminster Adoption Act 1942
Statute of Westminster Adoption Act 1942
The Statute of Westminster Adoption Act 1942 is an Act of the Australian Parliament that formally adopted the Statute of Westminster 1931, an Act of the British Imperial Parliament enabling the legislative independence of the various self-governing Dominions of the British Empire...

 (see Statute of Westminster
Statute of Westminster 1931
The Statute of Westminster 1931 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Passed on 11 December 1931, the Act established legislative equality for the self-governing dominions of the British Empire with the United Kingdom...

) and the Australia Act 1986
Australia Act 1986
The Australia Act 1986 is the name given to a pair of separate but related pieces of legislation: one an Act of the Commonwealth Parliament of Australia, the other an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom...

, whereafter the governor became the direct, personal representative of the uniquely Australian sovereign.

The current Governor is Professor Marie Bashir
Marie Bashir
Marie Roslyn Bashir AC, CVO is the present Governor of New South Wales since 2001 and also the Chancellor of the University of Sydney since 2007. Born in Narrandera, New South Wales, Bashir graduated from the University of Sydney in 1956 and held various medical positions, with a particular...

, who has served since 1 March 2001; Labor
Australian Labor Party
The Australian Labor Party is an Australian political party. It has been the governing party of the Commonwealth of Australia since the 2007 federal election. Julia Gillard is the party's federal parliamentary leader and Prime Minister of Australia...

 Premier Bob Carr
Bob Carr
Robert John "Bob" Carr , Australian statesman, was Premier of New South Wales from 4 April 1995 to 3 August 2005. He holds the record for the longest continuous service as premier of NSW...

 recommended her to replace former Justice Gordon Samuels
Gordon Samuels
Gordon Jacob Samuels AC, CVO, QC , was a British-Australian lawyer, Judge and Governor of New South Wales from 1996 to 2001. Born in London in 1923, Samuels was educated at University College School and Balliol College, Oxford. After serving in the Second World War, he was called to the bar and...

. Bashir had her term extended in October 2004 to February 2008, again extended in October 2007 for a further five years to 2012, and further extended in September 2011 to February 2014.

Appointment


The governor is required by the Constitution Act, 1902. As such, the Australian monarch approves with commission issued under the royal sign-manual
Royal sign-manual
The royal sign manual is the formal name given in the Commonwealth realms to the autograph signature of the sovereign, by the affixing of which the monarch expresses his or her pleasure either by order, commission, or warrant. A sign-manual warrant may be either an executive actfor example, an...

 and Public Seal of the State her New South Wales Premier's recommendation for viceroy, who is from then until being sworn-in referred to as the governor-designate.

Besides the administration of the oaths of office, there is no set formula for the swearing-in of a governor-designate. The constitution act stipulates that: "Before assuming office, a person appointed to be Governor shall take the Oath or Affirmation of Allegiance and the Oath or Affirmation of Office in the presence of the Chief Justice or another Judge of the Supreme Court." The sovereign will also hold an audience with the appointee and will at that time induct the governor-designate into the Order of Australia
Order of Australia
The Order of Australia is an order of chivalry established on 14 February 1975 by Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia, "for the purpose of according recognition to Australian citizens and other persons for achievement or for meritorious service"...

 as Companions (AC).

The incumbent will generally serve for at least five years, though this is only a developed convention, and the governor still technically acts at Her Majesty's pleasure
At Her Majesty's pleasure
At Her Majesty's pleasure is a legal term of art derived from all legitimate authority for government stemming from the Crown. Originating from the United Kingdom, it is now used throughout the Commonwealth realms...

 (or the Royal Pleasure). The premier may therefore recommend to the Queen that the viceroy remain in her service for a longer period of time, sometimes upwards of more than seven years. A governor may also resign and three have died in office. In such a circumstance, or if the governor leaves the country for longer than one month, the Lieutenant Governor of New South Wales
Lieutenant Governor of New South Wales
The Lieutenant Governor of New South Wales is a government position in the state of New South Wales, Australia, acting as a deputy to the Governor of New South Wales....

, concurrently held by the Chief Justice of New South Wales
Chief Justice of New South Wales
The Chief Justice of New South Wales is the senior judge of the Supreme Court of New South Wales and the highest ranking judicial officer in the Australian state of New South Wales. The Chief Justice is both the judicial head of the Supreme Court as well as the administrative head...

 since 1872, serves as Administrator of the Government
Administrator of the Government
An Administrator in the constitutional practice of some countries in the Commonwealth is a person who fulfils a role similar to that of a Governor or a Governor-General...

 and exercises all powers of the governor. Furthermore, if the Lieutenant Governor becomes incapacitated while serving in the office of Governor, the next most senior judge of the Supreme Court is sworn in as the Administrator.

Selection


Between 1788 and 1957, all governors were born outside of New South Wales and were often members of the Peerage
Peerage
The Peerage is a legal system of largely hereditary titles in the United Kingdom, which constitute the ranks of British nobility and is part of the British honours system...

. However, even though the implementation of the Australian Citizenship Act
Australian nationality law
Australian nationality law determines who is and who is not an Australian, and is based primarily on the principle of Jus soli. The status of Australian citizenship was created by the Nationality and Citizenship Act 1948 which received Royal Assent on 21 December 1948 and came into force on...

 in 1948 established the concept of an independent Australian citizenship, the idea of Australian-born persons being appointed governor of New South Wales was much earlier. Coincidentally the first Australian-born Governor, Sir John Northcott
John Northcott
Lieutenant General Sir John Northcott KCMG, KCVO, CB was an Australian Army general who served as Chief of the General Staff during World War II, and commanded the British Commonwealth Occupation Force in the Occupation of Japan...

 on 1 August 1946, was also the first Australian-born Governor of any state. However, as Northcott was born in Victoria, it was not until Sir Eric Woodward
Eric Woodward
Lieutenant General Sir Eric Winslow Woodward KCMG, KCVO, CB, CBE, DSO was an Australian military officer and Viceroy...

's appointment by Queen Elizabeth II in 1957 that the position was filled by a New South Wales-born individual; this practice continued until 1996, when Queen Elizabeth II commissioned as her representative Gordon Samuels
Gordon Samuels
Gordon Jacob Samuels AC, CVO, QC , was a British-Australian lawyer, Judge and Governor of New South Wales from 1996 to 2001. Born in London in 1923, Samuels was educated at University College School and Balliol College, Oxford. After serving in the Second World War, he was called to the bar and...

, a London-born immigrant to Australia.

Although required by the tenets of constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which a monarch acts as head of state within the parameters of a constitution, whether it be a written, uncodified or blended constitution...

 to be non-partisan while in office, governors were frequently former politicians, many being members of the House of Lords
House of Lords
The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster....

 by virtue of their peerage. The first Governors were all military officers and the majority of governors since have come from a military background, numbering 19. Samuels was the first governor in New South Wales history without either a political, public service or military background, being a former Justice of the Supreme Court of New South Wales
Supreme Court of New South Wales
The Supreme Court of New South Wales is the highest state court of the Australian State of New South Wales...

. The first woman to hold this position is also the first Lebanese-Australian governor, Marie Bashir
Marie Bashir
Marie Roslyn Bashir AC, CVO is the present Governor of New South Wales since 2001 and also the Chancellor of the University of Sydney since 2007. Born in Narrandera, New South Wales, Bashir graduated from the University of Sydney in 1956 and held various medical positions, with a particular...

.

Role


As Australia shares its monarch
Personal union
A personal union is the combination by which two or more different states have the same monarch while their boundaries, their laws and their interests remain distinct. It should not be confused with a federation which is internationally considered a single state...

 equally with fifteen other countries
Commonwealth Realm
A Commonwealth realm is a sovereign state within the Commonwealth of Nations that has Elizabeth II as its monarch and head of state. The sixteen current realms have a combined land area of 18.8 million km² , and a population of 134 million, of which all, except about two million, live in the six...

 in the Commonwealth of Nations
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 and the sovereign lives predominantly outside New South Wales' borders, the governor's primary task is to perform the sovereign's constitutional duties on his or her behalf, acting within the principles of parliamentary democracy and responsible government
Responsible government
Responsible government is a conception of a system of government that embodies the principle of parliamentary accountability which is the foundation of the Westminster system of parliamentary democracy...

 as a guarantor of continuous and stable governance and as a nonpartisan
Nonpartisan
In political science, nonpartisan denotes an election, event, organization or person in which there is no formally declared association with a political party affiliation....

 safeguard against the abuse of power. For the most part, however, the powers of the Crown are exercised on a day-to-day basis by elected and appointed individuals, leaving the governor to perform the various ceremonial duties the sovereign otherwise carries out when in the country; at such a moment, the governor removes him or herself from public, though the presence of the monarch does not affect the governor's ability to perform governmental roles.

It is the governor who is required by the Constitution Act 1902, to appoint persons to the Government of New South Wales
Government of New South Wales
The form of the Government of New South Wales is prescribed in its Constitution, which dates from 1856, although it has been amended many times since then...

, who are all theoretically tasked with tendering to the monarch and viceroy guidance on the exercise of the Royal Prerogative. Convention dictates, that the governor must draw from the Parliament an individual to act as Premier, who is also capable of forming government—in almost all cases the Member of Parliament who commands the confidence
Confidence and supply
In a parliamentary democracy confidence and supply are required for a government to hold power. A confidence and supply agreement is an agreement that a minor party or independent member of parliament will support the government in motions of confidence and appropriation votes by voting in favour...

 of the Legislative Assembly
New South Wales Legislative Assembly
The Legislative Assembly, or lower house, is one of the two chambers of the Parliament of New South Wales, an Australian state. The other chamber is the Legislative Council. Both the Assembly and Council sit at Parliament House in the state capital, Sydney...

. The Premier then directs the Governor to appoint other members of parliament to the Executive Council of New South Wales
Executive Council of New South Wales
The Executive Council of New South Wales is the cabinet of that Australian state, consisting of the Ministers, presided over by the Governor .-Role and history:...

 known as the Cabinet, and it is in practice only from this group of ministers of the Crown
Minister of the Crown
Minister of the Crown is the formal constitutional term used in the Commonwealth realms to describe a minister to the reigning sovereign. The term indicates that the minister serves at His/Her Majesty's pleasure, and advises the monarch, or viceroy, on how to exercise the Crown prerogatives...

 that the Queen and governor will take direction on the use of executive power, an arrangement called the Queen-in-Council
Queen-in-Council
The Queen-in-Council is, in each of the Commonwealth realms, the technical term of constitutional law that refers to the exercise of executive authority, denoting the monarch acting by and with the advice and consent of his or her privy council or executive council The Queen-in-Council (during...

or, more specifically, the Governor-in-Council. In this capacity, the governor will issue royal proclamation
Proclamation
A proclamation is an official declaration.-England and Wales:In English law, a proclamation is a formal announcement , made under the great seal, of some matter which the King in Council or Queen in Council desires to make known to his or her subjects: e.g., the declaration of war, or state of...

s and sign orders in council. The Governor-in-Council is also required to appoint in the Queen's name the President of the Legislative Council
President of the New South Wales Legislative Council
The President of the New South Wales Legislative Council is the presiding officer of the upper house of the Parliament of New South Wales. The role of President has generally been a partisan office, filled by the governing party of the time. The incumbent President is no exception, currently held...

, the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly
Speaker of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly
The Speaker of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly is the presiding officer of the Legislative Assembly, New South Wales's lower chamber of Parliament. The current Speaker is Shelley Hancock, who was elected on 3 May 2011...

, Supreme Court and District Court
District Court of New South Wales
The District Court of New South Wales has jurisdiction to hear most indictable offences . It hears appeals from the Local Court and civil claims up to A$750 000. In some circumstances the amount may be higher, e.g. with the consent of the parties or in motor accident claims etc...

 justices, and local court magistrates in the state. The advice
Advice (constitutional)
Advice, in constitutional law, is formal, usually binding, instruction given by one constitutional officer of state to another. Especially in parliamentary systems of government, Heads of state often act on the basis of advice issued by prime ministers or other government ministers...

 given by the Cabinet is, in order to ensure the stability of government, typically binding; both the Queen and her viceroy, however, may in exceptional circumstances invoke the reserve powers, which remain the Crown's final check against a ministry's abuse of power, this was last fully exercised in 1932, when Sir Philip Game
Philip Game
Air Vice-Marshal Sir Philip Woolcott Game GCB, GCVO, GBE, KCMG, DSO was a British Royal Air Force commander, who later served as Governor of New South Wales and Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis...

 dismissed Premier Jack Lang
Jack Lang (Australian politician)
John Thomas Lang , usually referred to as J.T. Lang during his career, and familiarly known as "Jack" and nicknamed "The Big Fella" was an Australian politician who was Premier of New South Wales for two terms...

.

The Governor alone is constitutionally mandated to summon parliament
Parliament of New South Wales
The Parliament of New South Wales, located in Parliament House on Macquarie Street, Sydney, is the main legislative body in the Australian state of New South Wales . It is a bicameral parliament elected by the people of the state in general elections. The parliament shares law making powers with...

. Beyond that, the viceroy carries out the other conventional parliamentary duties in the sovereign's absence, including reading the Speech from the throne
Speech from the Throne
A speech from the throne is an event in certain monarchies in which the reigning sovereign reads a prepared speech to a complete session of parliament, outlining the government's agenda for the coming session...

 and the proroguing and dissolving
Dissolution of parliament
In parliamentary systems, a dissolution of parliament is the dispersal of a legislature at the call of an election.Usually there is a maximum length of a legislature, and a dissolution must happen before the maximum time...

 of parliament. The governor grants Royal Assent
Royal Assent
The granting of royal assent refers to the method by which any constitutional monarch formally approves and promulgates an act of his or her nation's parliament, thus making it a law...

 in the Queen's name; legally, he or she has three options: grant Royal Assent (making the bill law), withhold Royal Assent (vetoing the bill), or reserve the bill for the Queen's pleasure (allowing the sovereign to personally grant or withhold assent). If the governor withholds the Queen's assent, the sovereign may within two years disallow the bill, thereby annulling the law in question. No modern viceroy has denied Royal Assent to a bill. With most constitutional functions delegated to Cabinet, the governor acts in a primarily ceremonial fashion. He or she will host members of Australia's royal family, as well as foreign royalty and heads of state. Also as part of international relations, the governor receives letters of credence and of recall
Letter of Credence
A letter of credence is a formal letter usually sent by one head of state to another that formally grants diplomatic accreditation to a named individual to be their ambassador in the country of the head of state receiving the letter...

 from foreign consul-generals appointed to Sydney. When they are the longest serving State Governor, the Governor of New South Wales holds a dormant commission
Dormant commission
A dormant commission is a commission which lies dormant or sleeping until it is triggered by a particular event. The concept appears in the constitutional affairs of Commonwealth realm nations....

 to act as the Administrator of the Commonwealth
Administrator (Australia)
The title Administrator of the Government has several uses in Australia.-Administrator of the Commonwealth:At the Commonwealth level, Section 4 of the Australian Constitution provides that:...

 when the Governor-General of Australia
Governor-General of Australia
The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia is the representative in Australia at federal/national level of the Australian monarch . He or she exercises the supreme executive power of the Commonwealth...

 is absent from Australia, a role held by the current Governor.

The governor is also tasked with fostering unity and pride. He or she will also induct individuals into the various national orders and present national medals and decorations, however the most senior awards such as ACs or the Victoria Cross are the sole prerogative of the Governor General. The governor also traditionally serves as Honorary and Regimental Colonel in the Royal New South Wales Regiment
Royal New South Wales Regiment
The Royal New South Wales Regiment is a reserve infantry regiment of the Australian Army based in the state of New South Wales. The regiment consists of four battalions:-Organisation:*1st/19th Battalion*2nd/17th Battalion*4th/3rd Battalion...

 and as Honorary Air Commodore
Air Commodore
Air commodore is an air-officer rank which originated in and continues to be used by the Royal Air Force...

 of No. 22 (City of Sydney) Squadron
No. 22 Squadron RAAF
No. 22 Squadron is a Royal Australian Air Force mixed regular and reserve squadron that provides support for the RAAF in the Sydney region. Formed in 1936, the squadron served in Papua New Guinea during the Second World War, and later followed the Pacific war as far as the Philippines...

, Royal Australian Air Force
Royal Australian Air Force
The Royal Australian Air Force is the air force branch of the Australian Defence Force. The RAAF was formed in March 1921. It continues the traditions of the Australian Flying Corps , which was formed on 22 October 1912. The RAAF has taken part in many of the 20th century's major conflicts...

. Since 1946, the governor has also always been made the Chief Scout of New South Wales
Scouts Australia
Scouts Australia is an organisation for children and young adults from 6 to 26 years of age. Scouts Australia is part of the global Scouting movement and has been a national member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement since 1953...

.

Symbols and protocol



As the personal representative of the monarch, the governor follows only the sovereign in the NSW order of precedence. The incumbent governor is entitled to the use the style of His or Her Excellency
Excellency
Excellency is an honorific style given to certain members of an organization or state.Usually, people styled "Excellency" are heads of state, heads of government, governors, ambassadors, certain ecclesiastics, royalty, aristocracy, and military, and others holding equivalent rank .It is...

, while in office. He or she also upon installation automatically becomes a Knight or Dame of Justice of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem
Venerable Order of Saint John
The Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem , is a royal order of chivalry established in 1831 and found today throughout the Commonwealth of Nations, Hong Kong, Ireland and the United States of America, with the world-wide mission "to prevent and relieve sickness and...

. It is also customary that the Governor is made a Companion of the Order of Australia, though this is not necessarily automatic.

The Viceregal Salute
Honors music
The honours music for a person, office or rank is music played on formal or ceremonial occasions in the presence of the person, office-holder, or rank-holder, especially by a military band...

—composed of the first and last four bars of the National Anthem ("Advance Australia Fair
Advance Australia Fair
"Advance Australia Fair" is the official national anthem of Australia. Created by the Scottish-born composer, Peter Dodds McCormick, the song was first performed in 1878, but did not gain its status as the official anthem until 1984. Until then, the song was sung in Australia as a patriotic song...

")—is the salute used to greet the governor upon arrival at, and mark his or her departure from most official events, although "God Save The Queen
God Save the Queen
"God Save the Queen" is an anthem used in a number of Commonwealth realms and British Crown Dependencies. The words of the song, like its title, are adapted to the gender of the current monarch, with "King" replacing "Queen", "he" replacing "she", and so forth, when a king reigns...

", as the Royal Anthem, is also used. To mark the viceroy's presence at any building, ship, airplane, or car in Australia, the governor's flag is employed. The present form was adopted on 15 January 1981. The shield of the Royal Arms of New South Wales
Coat of arms of New South Wales
The Coat of arms of New South Wales is the official coat of arms of the Australian state of New South Wales. It was granted by a Royal Warrant of His Majesty King Edward VII dated the 11 October 1906.-Description :...

 crowned with the St Edward's Crown is employed as the badge of the governor, appearing on the viceroy's flag and on other objects associated with the person or the office.

History



Aside from the Crown itself, the office of Governor of New South Wales is the oldest constitutional office in Australia. Captain Arthur Phillip
Arthur Phillip
Admiral Arthur Phillip RN was a British admiral and colonial administrator. Phillip was appointed Governor of New South Wales, the first European colony on the Australian continent, and was the founder of the settlement which is now the city of Sydney.-Early life and naval career:Arthur Phillip...

 assumed office as Governor of New South Wales on 7 February 1788, when the Colony of New South Wales, the first British settlement in Australia, was formally founded. The early colonial governors held an almost autocratic power due to the distance from and poor communications with Great Britain, until 1824 when the New South Wales Legislative Council
New South Wales Legislative Council
The New South Wales Legislative Council, or upper house, is one of the two chambers of the parliament of New South Wales in Australia. The other is the Legislative Assembly. Both sit at Parliament House in the state capital, Sydney. The Assembly is referred to as the lower house and the Council as...

, Australia's first legislative body, was appointed to advise the governor.

Between 1850 and 1861, the Governor of New South Wales was titled Governor-General in an early attempt at federalism imposed by Earl Grey
Earl Grey
Earl Grey is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created in 1806 for General Charles Grey, 1st Baron Grey. He had already been created Baron Grey, of Howick in the County of Northumberland, in 1801, and was made Viscount Howick, in the County of Northumberland, at the same time as...

. All communication between the Australian colonies and the British Government was meant to go through the Governor-General, and the other colonies had Lieutenant-Governors. As South Australia (1836), Tasmania
Tasmania
Tasmania is an Australian island and state. It is south of the continent, separated by Bass Strait. The state includes the island of Tasmania—the 26th largest island in the world—and the surrounding islands. The state has a population of 507,626 , of whom almost half reside in the greater Hobart...

 (January 1855) and Victoria
Victoria (Australia)
Victoria is the second most populous state in Australia. Geographically the smallest mainland state, Victoria is bordered by New South Wales, South Australia, and Tasmania on Boundary Islet to the north, west and south respectively....

 (May 1855) obtained responsible government, their Lieutenant-Governors were replaced by Governors. Although he had ceased acting as a Governor-General, Sir William Denison
William Denison
Sir William Thomas Denison, KCB was Lieutenant Governor of Van Diemen's Land from 1847 to 1855, Governor of New South Wales from 20 January 1855 to 22 January 1861, and Governor of Madras from 1861 to 1866....

 retained the title until his retirement.

Residences and household



Government House, Sydney
Government House, Sydney
Government House is located in Sydney, Australia alongside the Royal Botanic Gardens, overlooking Sydney Harbour, just south of the Sydney Opera House...

 in Sydney is, as the residence of the monarch, the traditional official residence of the governor. However, from 1996 to 2011, following the direction of Premier Bob Carr, the Governor did not use it as a residence, retaining it for reception and official purposes. The Governor's present day office is the historic Chief Secretary’s Building
Chief Secretary’s Building
The Chief Secretary’s Building is an historic Sydney landmark located at 121 Macquarie Street, 65 Bridge Street and 44-50 Phillip Street....

 nearby, at 121 Macquarie Street.

On 16 January 1996 Carr announced that the next Governor would be Gordon Samuels
Gordon Samuels
Gordon Jacob Samuels AC, CVO, QC , was a British-Australian lawyer, Judge and Governor of New South Wales from 1996 to 2001. Born in London in 1923, Samuels was educated at University College School and Balliol College, Oxford. After serving in the Second World War, he was called to the bar and...

, that he would not live or work at Government House and that he would retain his appointment as Chairman of the New South Wales Law Reform Commission. On these changes, Carr said:"The Office of the Governor should be less associated with pomp and ceremony, less encumbered by anachronistic protocol, more in tune with the character of the people." The State’s longest serving Governor, Sir Roden Cutler, was also reported as saying:"It’s a political push to make way in New South Wales to lead the push for a republic. If they decide not to have a Governor and the public agrees with that, and Parliament agrees, and the Queen agrees to it, that is a different matter, but while there is a Governor you have got to give him some respectability and credibility, because he is the host for the whole of New South Wales. For the life of me I cannot understand the logic of having a Governor who is part-time and doesn’t live at Government House. It is such a degrading of the office and of the Governor."

In October 2011, the new Premier Barry O'Farrell
Barry O'Farrell
Barry Robert O'Farrell MP, is an Australian politician and is the 43rd Premier of New South Wales, Minister for Western Sydney, Leader of the New South Wales Liberal Party and a Member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly representing Ku-ring-gai for the Liberal Party since 1999.Born in...

 announced that the Governor, now Marie Bashir
Marie Bashir
Marie Roslyn Bashir AC, CVO is the present Governor of New South Wales since 2001 and also the Chancellor of the University of Sydney since 2007. Born in Narrandera, New South Wales, Bashir graduated from the University of Sydney in 1956 and held various medical positions, with a particular...

, had agreed with O'Farrell's offer to move back into Government House: "A lot of people believe the Governor should live at Government House. That's what it was built for...at some stage a rural or regional governor will be appointed and we will need to provide accommodation at Government House so it makes sense to provide appropriate living areas". However, owing to the fact that government house has not been a residence for fifteen years, O'Farrell also announced that the Governor will initially move into a smaller adjacent building, called the chalet, while refurbishments of the main wing occur, with a proposed move into the main house "before Christmas".

The Governors also previously had a summer residence, "Hillview", in Sutton Forest from 1885 to 1957. Hillview was put up for sale and purchased from the State Government by Edwin Klein in 1957. Hillview was gifted back to the people of NSW in 1985 and currently occupied by the Department of Planning through the Heritage Office.

The viceregal household aids the governor in the execution of the royal constitutional and ceremonial duties and is managed by the Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor, currently held by Noel Campbell. These organised offices and support systems include aides-de-camp, press officers
News media
The news media are those elements of the mass media that focus on delivering news to the general public or a target public.These include print media , broadcast news , and more recently the Internet .-Etymology:A medium is a carrier of something...

, financial managers, speech writers, trip organizers, event planners and protocol officers. In this official and bureaucratic capacity, the entire household is often referred to as Government House
Government House
Government House is the name of many of the residences of Governors-General, Governors and Lieutenant-Governors in the Commonwealth and the remaining colonies of the British Empire. It serves as the venue for the Governor's official business, as well as the many receptions and functions hosted by...

. These departments are funded through the annual budget, as is the governor's salary of A$
Australian dollar
The Australian dollar is the currency of the Commonwealth of Australia, including Christmas Island, Cocos Islands, and Norfolk Island, as well as the independent Pacific Island states of Kiribati, Nauru and Tuvalu...

181,555.

List of Governors of New South Wales

No. Portrait Governor From To
Governors under King George III
George III of the United Kingdom
George III was King of Great Britain and King of Ireland from 25 October 1760 until the union of these two countries on 1 January 1801, after which he was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until his death...

 (1760–1820):
1 Captain Arthur Phillip RN
Arthur Phillip
Admiral Arthur Phillip RN was a British admiral and colonial administrator. Phillip was appointed Governor of New South Wales, the first European colony on the Australian continent, and was the founder of the settlement which is now the city of Sydney.-Early life and naval career:Arthur Phillip...

7 February 1788 10 December 1792
2 Captain John Hunter RN
John Hunter (New South Wales)
Vice-Admiral John Hunter, RN was a British naval officer, explorer, naturalist and colonial administrator who succeeded Arthur Phillip as the second governor of New South Wales, Australia from 1795 to 1800.-Overview:...

11 September 1795 27 September 1800
3 Captain Philip King RN
Philip Gidley King
Captain Philip Gidley King RN was a British naval officer and colonial administrator. He is best known as the official founder of the first European settlement on Norfolk Island and as the third Governor of New South Wales.-Early years and establishment of Norfolk Island settlement:King was born...

28 September 1800 12 August 1806
4 Captain William Bligh RN
William Bligh
Vice Admiral William Bligh FRS RN was an officer of the British Royal Navy and a colonial administrator. A notorious mutiny occurred during his command of HMAV Bounty in 1789; Bligh and his loyal men made a remarkable voyage to Timor, after being set adrift in the Bounty's launch by the mutineers...

13 August 1806 26 January 1808
5 Major-General Lachlan Macquarie CB
Lachlan Macquarie
Major-General Lachlan Macquarie CB , was a British military officer and colonial administrator. He served as the last autocratic Governor of New South Wales, Australia from 1810 to 1821 and had a leading role in the social, economic and architectural development of the colony...

 
1 January 1810
Governors under King George IV
George IV of the United Kingdom
George IV was the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and also of Hanover from the death of his father, George III, on 29 January 1820 until his own death ten years later...

 (1820–30):
5 Major-General Lachlan Macquarie CB
Lachlan Macquarie
Major-General Lachlan Macquarie CB , was a British military officer and colonial administrator. He served as the last autocratic Governor of New South Wales, Australia from 1810 to 1821 and had a leading role in the social, economic and architectural development of the colony...

 
1 December 1821
6 Major-General Sir Thomas Brisbane Bt GCH GCB
Thomas Brisbane
Major-General Sir Thomas Makdougall Brisbane, 1st Baronet GCH, GCB, FRS, FRSE was a British soldier, colonial Governor and astronomer.-Early life:...

1 December 1821 1 December 1825
7 Lieutenant-General Sir Ralph Darling GCH
Ralph Darling
General Sir Ralph Darling, GCH was a British colonial Governor and Governor of New South Wales from 1825 to 1831.-Early career:...

19 December 1825
Governors under King William IV
William IV of the United Kingdom
William IV was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of Hanover from 26 June 1830 until his death...

 (1830–37):
7 Lieutenant-General Sir Ralph Darling GCH
Ralph Darling
General Sir Ralph Darling, GCH was a British colonial Governor and Governor of New South Wales from 1825 to 1831.-Early career:...

22 October 1831
8 Major-General Sir Richard Bourke KCB
Richard Bourke
General Sir Richard Bourke, KCB was Governor of the Colony of New South Wales, Australia between 1831 and 1837.-Early life and career:...

3 December 1831
Governors under Queen Victoria
Victoria of the United Kingdom
Victoria was the monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. From 1 May 1876, she used the additional title of Empress of India....

 (1837–1901):
8 Major-General Sir Richard Bourke KCB
Richard Bourke
General Sir Richard Bourke, KCB was Governor of the Colony of New South Wales, Australia between 1831 and 1837.-Early life and career:...

5 December 1837
9 Major Sir George Gipps
George Gipps
Sir George Gipps was Governor of the colony of New South Wales, Australia, for eight years, between 1838 and 1846. His governorship was during a period of great change for New South Wales and Australia, as well as for New Zealand, which was administered as part of New South Wales for much of this...

 
24 February 1838 11 July 1846
10 Lieutenant Colonel Sir Charles Augustus FitzRoy KCH KCB
Charles Augustus FitzRoy
Sir Charles Augustus FitzRoy, KCH, KCB was a British military officer, politician and member of the aristocracy, who held governorships in several British colonies during the 19th century.-Family and peerage:...

3 August 1846 January 1855
11 Sir William Denison KCB
William Denison
Sir William Thomas Denison, KCB was Lieutenant Governor of Van Diemen's Land from 1847 to 1855, Governor of New South Wales from 20 January 1855 to 22 January 1861, and Governor of Madras from 1861 to 1866....

20 January 1855 22 January 1861
12 The Rt Hon. The Lord Lisgar GCB GCMG PC
John Young, 1st Baron Lisgar
John Young, 1st Baron Lisgar, Bt, GCB, GCMG, PC was the second Governor General of Canada, in office from 1869 to 1872.-Biography:...

16 May 1861 24 December 1867
13 The Rt Hon. The Earl Belmore GCMG PC
Somerset Lowry-Corry, 4th Earl Belmore
Somerset Richard Lowry-Corry, 4th Earl Belmore GCMG, PC , styled as Viscount Corry from 1841 to 1845, was an Irish nobleman and Conservative politician.-Background and education:...

8 January 1868 21 February 1872
14 The Rt Hon. The Lord Rosmead GCMG
Hercules Robinson, 1st Baron Rosmead
Hercules George Robert Robinson, 1st Baron Rosmead, GCMG, PC was a British colonial administrator who became the 5th Governor of Hong Kong...

3 June 1872 19 March 1879
15 The Rt Hon. Sir Augustus Loftus GCB PC
Augustus Loftus
Lord Augustus William Frederick Spencer Loftus GCB, PC was a British diplomat and colonial administrator.Loftus was the fourth son of John Loftus, 2nd Marquess of Ely...

4 August 1879 9 November 1885
16 The Rt Hon. The Lord Carrington GCMG PC 12 December 1885 3 November 1890
17 The Rt Hon. The Earl of Jersey GCB GCMG PC 15 January 1891 2 March 1893
18 The Rt Hon. Sir Robert Duff GCMG
Robert Duff (politician)
Sir Robert William Duff, GCMG, PC was a Scottish Liberal Party politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1861 to 1893 and was Governor of New South Wales from 1893 to 1895.-Early life:...

29 May 1893 15 March 1895
19 The Rt Hon. The Viscount Hampden GCMG  21 November 1895 5 March 1899
20 The Rt Hon. The Earl Beauchamp KG KCMG PC
William Lygon, 7th Earl Beauchamp
William Lygon, 7th Earl Beauchamp KG, KCMG, PC , styled Viscount Elmley until 1891, was a British Liberal politician. He was Governor of New South Wales between 1899 and 1901, a member of the Liberal administrations of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman and H. H...

18 May 1899
Governors under King Edward VII
Edward VII of the United Kingdom
Edward VII was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death in 1910...

 (1901–10):
20 The Rt Hon. The Earl Beauchamp KG KCMG PC
William Lygon, 7th Earl Beauchamp
William Lygon, 7th Earl Beauchamp KG, KCMG, PC , styled Viscount Elmley until 1891, was a British Liberal politician. He was Governor of New South Wales between 1899 and 1901, a member of the Liberal administrations of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman and H. H...

30 April 1901
21 Admiral Sir Harry Rawson GCB GCMG RN
Harry Rawson
Admiral Sir Harry Holdsworth Rawson, GCB, GCMG RN , is chiefly remembered for overseeing the British Benin Expedition of 1897 that burned and looted the city of the Kingdom of Benin, now in Nigeria...

27 May 1902 27 May 1909
22 The Rt Hon. The Lord Chelmsford GCMG 28 May 1909
Governors under King George V
George V of the United Kingdom
George V was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 through the First World War until his death in 1936....

 (1910–36):
22 The Rt Hon. The Lord Chelmsford GCMG 11 March 1913
23 The Hon. Sir Gerald Strickland, Count della Catena GCMG 14 March 1913 27 October 1917
24 Sir Walter Davidson KCMG
Walter Edward Davidson
Sir Walter Edward Davidson KCMG was a colonial Administrator and diplomat. He served periods as Governor of the Seychelles, Governor of Newfoundland and as Governor of New South Wales, in which he died in office....

18 February 1918 4 September 1923
25 Admiral Sir Dudley de Chair KCB KBE MVO
Dudley de Chair
Admiral Sir Dudley Rawson Stratford de Chair, KCB, KCMG, KBE, MVO was a Naval Officer and Governor. De Chair joined the Royal Navy from the age of 16 and served in the Anglo-Egyptian War and later as an Admiral in the First World War. He was appointed as Governor of New South Wales in 1923...

28 February 1924 7 April 1930
26 Air Vice-Marshal Sir Philip Game GBE KCB DSO
Philip Game
Air Vice-Marshal Sir Philip Woolcott Game GCB, GCVO, GBE, KCMG, DSO was a British Royal Air Force commander, who later served as Governor of New South Wales and Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis...

29 May 1930 15 January 1935
27 The Rt Hon. The Lord Gowrie VC GCMG CB DSO
Alexander Hore-Ruthven, 1st Earl of Gowrie
Brigadier General Alexander Gore Arkwright Hore-Ruthven, 1st Earl of Gowrie VC, GCMG, CB, DSO & Bar, PC was a British soldier and colonial governor and the tenth Governor-General of Australia. Serving for 9 years and 7 days, he is the longest serving Governor-General in Australia's history...

21 February 1935
Governors under King Edward VIII
Edward VIII of the United Kingdom
Edward VIII was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth, and Emperor of India, from 20 January to 11 December 1936.Before his accession to the throne, Edward was Prince of Wales and Duke of Cornwall and Rothesay...

 (1936):
27 The Rt Hon. The Lord Gowrie VC GCMG CB DSO
Alexander Hore-Ruthven, 1st Earl of Gowrie
Brigadier General Alexander Gore Arkwright Hore-Ruthven, 1st Earl of Gowrie VC, GCMG, CB, DSO & Bar, PC was a British soldier and colonial governor and the tenth Governor-General of Australia. Serving for 9 years and 7 days, he is the longest serving Governor-General in Australia's history...

22 January 1936
28 Admiral Sir David Anderson KCB KCMG MVO  6 August 1936 30 October 1936
Governors under King George VI
George VI of the United Kingdom
George VI was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from 11 December 1936 until his death...

 (1936–52):
29 The Rt Hon. The Lord Wakehurst KCMG
John de Vere Loder, 2nd Baron Wakehurst
John de Vere Loder, 2nd Baron Wakehurst KG, KCMG was a British Colonial administrator and politician. After serving in the army, the Foreign Office, and as a Conservative Member of Parliament in the House of Commons, Wakehurst was appointed as the last British Governor of New South Wales, which...

8 April 1937 8 January 1946
30 Lieutenant General Sir John Northcott KCMG KCVO CB
John Northcott
Lieutenant General Sir John Northcott KCMG, KCVO, CB was an Australian Army general who served as Chief of the General Staff during World War II, and commanded the British Commonwealth Occupation Force in the Occupation of Japan...

1 August 1946
Governors under Queen Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
Elizabeth II is the constitutional monarch of 16 sovereign states known as the Commonwealth realms: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize,...

 (since 1952):
30 Lieutenant General Sir John Northcott KCMG KCVO CB
John Northcott
Lieutenant General Sir John Northcott KCMG, KCVO, CB was an Australian Army general who served as Chief of the General Staff during World War II, and commanded the British Commonwealth Occupation Force in the Occupation of Japan...

31 July 1957
31 Lieutenant General Sir Eric Woodward KCMG KCVO CB CBE DSO
Eric Woodward
Lieutenant General Sir Eric Winslow Woodward KCMG, KCVO, CB, CBE, DSO was an Australian military officer and Viceroy...

1 August 1957 31 July 1965
32 Sir Roden Cutler VC KCMG KCVO CBE
Arthur Roden Cutler
Sir Roden Cutler, was an Australian diplomat, the longest serving Governor of New South Wales and a recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry "in the face of the enemy" that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth armed forces.-Early life:Arthur Roden Cutler was born on...

20 January 1966 19 January 1981
33 Air Marshal Sir James Rowland AC KBE DFC AFC
James Rowland (Australia)
Air Marshal Sir James Anthony Rowland, AC, KBE, DFC, AFC was a senior commander in the Royal Australian Air Force, serving as Chief of the Air Staff from 1975 to 1979. He later held office as Governor of New South Wales from 1981 to 1989, and was Chancellor of the University of Sydney from 1990...

20 January 1981 20 January 1989
34 Rear Admiral Sir David Martin KCMG AO
David Martin (Governor)
-Honours:-External links:...

20 January 1989 7 August 1990
35 Rear Admiral Peter Sinclair AC 8 August 1990 29 February 1996
36 The Hon. Gordon Samuels AC CVO QC
Gordon Samuels
Gordon Jacob Samuels AC, CVO, QC , was a British-Australian lawyer, Judge and Governor of New South Wales from 1996 to 2001. Born in London in 1923, Samuels was educated at University College School and Balliol College, Oxford. After serving in the Second World War, he was called to the bar and...

1 March 1996 28 February 2001
37 Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO
Marie Bashir
Marie Roslyn Bashir AC, CVO is the present Governor of New South Wales since 2001 and also the Chancellor of the University of Sydney since 2007. Born in Narrandera, New South Wales, Bashir graduated from the University of Sydney in 1956 and held various medical positions, with a particular...

1 March 2001 Present

Living former governors


Currently, only one former governor is alive. The most recent governor to die was Gordon Samuels
Gordon Samuels
Gordon Jacob Samuels AC, CVO, QC , was a British-Australian lawyer, Judge and Governor of New South Wales from 1996 to 2001. Born in London in 1923, Samuels was educated at University College School and Balliol College, Oxford. After serving in the Second World War, he was called to the bar and...

 (1996–2001), on 10 December 2007.
NameTerm as governorDate of birth
Peter Sinclair 1990–96 16 November 1934 (age 77)

External links