His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd)
Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia
His Excellency General the Honourable David John Hurley AC DSC (Retd) was sworn in as the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia on 1 July 2019.
David Hurley joined the Australian Army in January 1972, graduating from the Royal Military College, Duntroon into the Royal Australian Infantry Corps. In a long and distinguished 42-year military career, his service culminated with his appointment as Chief of the Defence Force.
He commanded the 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment during Operation SOLACE in Somalia in 1993, receiving the Distinguished Service Cross. Following promotion to Colonel, he was appointed Chief of Staff, Headquarters 1st Division in June 1994, attending the U.S. Army War College in 1996 and 1997. He commanded the 1st Brigade from 1999-2000 in Darwin, supporting Australian-led operations in East Timor. He was appointed the inaugural Chief of Capability Development Group from 2003-07, Chief of Joint Operations Command in October 2007, and Vice Chief of the Defence Force in July 2008. Promoted to General, he succeeded Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston as Chief of the Defence Force on 4 July 2011 until his retirement on 30 June 2014. In 2010, he was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia for eminent service to the Australian Defence Force.
Prior to being sworn in as Governor-General, David Hurley served as the 38th Governor of New South Wales from October 2014 – May 2019.
David Hurley was born in Wollongong, New South Wales on 26 August 1953, the son of Norma and James Hurley. His father was an Illawarra steelworker and his mother worked in a grocery store. He grew up in Port Kembla and attended Port Kembla High School where he completed his Higher School Certificate in 1971. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and Graduate Diploma in Defence Studies from the Royal Military College, Duntroon in 1975. He is married to Linda with whom he has three children: Caitlin, Marcus and Amelia.
He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of Wollongong in 2013; a Doctor of the University, honoris causa, from the University of New South Wales in 2015; made a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering in 2016; and awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Macquarie University in 2017.
Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC
Governor of New South Wales
Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC is the 39th Governor of New South Wales, commencing her five year tenure on 2 May 2019.
Prior to her appointment as Governor, Her Excellency enjoyed a long and distinguished law career spanning 43 years, during which time she served as a role model for women in law at both the State and national level.
Appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1989, in 1993 she was made a judge of the Federal Court of Australia, the first woman to sit exclusively in that Court. In 1996, she achieved the distinction of being the first woman appointed to the New South Wales Court of Appeal and, subsequently, as the first woman to be appointed as its President. She served, on a number of occasions, as Administrator of the Government of the State of New South Wales.
She was made a Companion of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day Honours List on 26 January 2020 for "eminent service to the people of New South Wales, particularly through leadership roles in the judiciary, and as a mentor of young women lawyers".
Her Excellency has three children - Erin, Lauren and Anthony Sullivan - and is married to Mr. Dennis Wilson, a barrister, mediator, accredited international arbitrator and Adjunct Professor of Law, at Notre Dame University, Sydney.
Her Excellency brings her deep commitment to education, youth leadership, human rights and social justice to the role in service of the people of New South Wales.
His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC
Governor of Queensland
The Governor was born in Brisbane in 1948, the third son of school teacher parents Ronald and Moya (both now deceased).
His Excellency won a Commonwealth Scholarship to The University of Queensland, and graduated with degrees in Arts in 1969 and Laws (with Honours) in 1971. Also in December 1971, the Governor married Kaye Brown. His Excellency and Mrs de Jersey have three children and three grandchildren.
The Governor was called to the Bar at the end of 1971 and was appointed as Her Majesty’s Counsel (QC) in 1981.
The Governor was appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court of Queensland in 1985, when aged 36 years, becoming the 17th Chief Justice of Queensland on 17 February 1998, and served in that role for more than 16 years until 8 July 2014.
In recognition of his contribution to the Australian community, the Governor was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2000, and awarded a Centenary Medal in 2003. He holds honorary doctorates from The University of Queensland (2000) and the University of Southern Queensland (2008), and Griffith University (2014).
His Excellency was appointed the 26th Governor of Queensland on 29 July 2014.
His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le AC
Governor of South Australia
His Excellency was born in Central Vietnam in 1954, where he attended school before studying Economics and Business Management at the Dalat University in the Highlands.
His Excellency, and his wife, Lan, arrived in Australia in 1977 and settled in Adelaide, starting with three months at the Pennington Migrant Hostel.
In Australia, the Governor studied at the University of Adelaide, where he earned a degree in Economics and Accounting. In 2001, His Excellency’s further study earned him a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the same university.
His Excellency gained Certified Practising Accountant accreditation, and from 1991 worked at the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, where he led many high-profile matters. Upon his retirement from the Commission in March 2009, he held the position of Senior Manager – Financial Services Regulation.
His Excellency has served on many community boards and committees, in particular those relating to cultural and linguistic diversity, the arts and education.
In 1995 His Excellency was appointed a member to the SA Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission, and was appointed Deputy Chairman in 2001. When His Excellency became Chairman in 2007, he was first person of Asian background to lead the Commission.
In August 2007, His Excellency was sworn in as the Lieutenant Governor of South Australia. Over the next seven years in this role, His Excellency served as the Patron or Honorary member of many organisations.
On 1 September 2014, His Excellency was sworn in as Governor of South Australia. It is understood that His Excellency is the first Vietnamese-born person who has ever been appointed to a Vice-Regal position in the world. He is patron of more than 200 organisations.
His Excellency was awarded the Australia Day Medal in 1996 for outstanding service to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, and has been awarded the Centenary of Federation Medal for service to the advancement of multiculturalism.
His Excellency was appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia (AO) in 2010 and a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in 2016, for service to the community of South Australia. He has also been awarded an Honorary Doctorate from both Adelaide University and Flinders University.
His Excellency is married to Mrs Lan Le, with whom he has two adult sons, Don and Kim.
Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Kate Warner AC
Governor of Tasmania
Tasmania’s 28th Governor, Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Kate Warner AC, was sworn to Office at Government House on Wednesday 10 December 2014.
Previously she was Professor, Faculty of Law, at the University of Tasmania and Director of the Tasmania Law Reform Institute. She had also in her career at the University held the positions of Dean, Faculty of Law, and Head of School. Following her appointment as Governor, she was made a professor emeritus.
On 26 January 2014 Her Excellency was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her significant service to the law, particularly in the areas of law reform and education. On 26 January 2017 she was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) for her eminent service to the people of Tasmania through leading contributions to the legal community, to law reform, to higher education as an academic, researcher and publisher and as a supporter of the arts and environmental and social justice initiatives.
Her teaching interests included Criminal Law, Evidence, Criminology and Sentencing, and her research interests included Sentencing and Criminal Justice. Since her appointment as Governor, she has continued her research in Sentencing, in particular. She was a Commissioner of the Tasmanian Gaming Commission, with a particular interest in regulation, gaming policy and harm minimisation. Professor Warner had been a Member of the Sentencing Advisory Council since 2010, and assisted with the preparation of the Council’s discussion papers and reports. She was a Member of the Board of Legal Education; a Member of the Council of Law Reporting; and Director, Centre for Legal Studies.
In addition to working with the Tasmania Law Reform Institute on its projects, she had been involved in providing advice and submissions on rape law reform, drug diversion and mental health diversion programs and abortion law reform. She also assisted other law reform bodies nationally including the New South Wales Law Reform Commission and the Australian Law Reform Commission.
As the former President of the Alcorso Foundation, Her Excellency supported social and cultural advancement in the community through its programs in the Arts, Environment and Social Justice.
She has received a number of awards and fellowships, including Foundation Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law in 2007; Visiting Fellow All Souls College Oxford in 2009; the University of Tasmania Distinguished Service Medal in 2013; and the Women Lawyers Award for Leadership in 2013. She has been nominated as a finalist in the Tasmanian Australian of the Year Awards for her contributions to the law, law reform and legal education. In December 2016 she was made a Fellow of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology.
Her Excellency graduated with a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) from the University of Tasmania in 1970, and a Master of Laws in 1978. She served as associate to the former Chief Justice, Sir Stanley Burbury, in the early 1970s.
Her Excellency The Honourable Linda Dessau AC
Governor of Victoria
On 1 July 2015, the Honourable Linda Dessau AC was sworn in as Victoria’s 29th Governor, the first female in the role.
The Governor was born in Melbourne in 1953, and was educated at St Catherine’s Girls’ School, matriculating in 1969, before attending the University of Melbourne, where she gained the degree of LLB (Hons). In 1975 she was admitted as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria.
In her early years as a lawyer, the Governor practised in commercial litigation and family law as a solicitor at Wisewoulds, later specialising in family law after signing the Roll of Counsel at the Victorian Bar in 1979.
In 1982 she married fellow Victorian barrister, Anthony Howard, and together they took up roles as Crown Counsel, and later Senior Crown Counsel in the Hong Kong Attorney-General’s chambers, where they prosecuted criminal trials.
Soon after returning to Australia in 1985, the Governor was appointed a part-time member of the Small Claims and Residential Tenancies Tribunals, taking her first judicial appointment as a Magistrate in 1986, at the age of 33. In that role, she served in the Children’s Court, Coroners Court and Melbourne Magistrates’ Court where she ultimately headed the Civil division and later the Committal Court.
During her time as a Magistrate, the Governor coordinated a significant criminal case management project, culminating in the Pegasus Report, implemented across the three tiers of courts to help reduce cost and delay in the criminal justice system. In 1994 she was awarded the Percy Baxter Churchill Fellowship to further her study in criminal case management in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.
In June 1995, the Governor was appointed a Judge of the Family Court of Australia, where she served for 18 years until July 2013. During that time she chaired or participated in various national projects within and outside the Court in relation to child abuse, family violence, mediation, less adversarial trial procedures and case management, and represented the Family Court on the Commonwealth Family Law Pathways Advisory Group. She was a Board member of the US-based Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, a Council member of the Legal Aid Consultative Committee, and a Board member of the Australian Institute of Judicial Administration.
The Governor was actively engaged in the area of judicial education, including as a Director of the National Judicial College of Australia, and as a long-standing faculty member and facilitator of the National Judicial Orientation Program. For many years she helped create and teach judgment writing courses on behalf of the National Judicial College of Australia, the Judicial College of Victoria, and for courts and tribunals throughout Australia.
Outside the law, the Governor was engaged in a broad range of community organisations, including as founding Chair of the Essendon Football Club Women’s Network, President of Middle Park Primary School Council, Vice-President of Wesley College Council, a Board member of Turning Point Drug and Alcohol Centre, a member of the Royal Children’s Hospital Ethics Committee and the La Trobe University Professional Consultative Council, and a Patron of the Epilepsy Foundation and One Umbrella (food recycling charity).
Immediately before her appointment as Governor, she was President of the Melbourne Festival, Chair of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Victorian Regional Committee and a national Board member of the Trust, a Commissioner of the Australian Football League, a Trustee of the National Gallery of Victoria, a Board member and former Chair of AFL Sportsready and Artsready, a Board member of the Unicorn Foundation, and a Patron of Sports Connect.
In 2010 the Governor was made a Member of the Order of Australia for services to family law and the community.
In 2017 the Governor was made a Companion of the Order of Australia for eminent service to the people of Victoria through leadership roles in the judiciary, to the advancement of economic ties and business relationships, and as a supporter of charitable, sporting and arts organisations
The Governor and her husband have two sons, both of whom have completed Bachelors of Laws and Arts at Monash University.
His Excellency The Honourable Kim Beazley AC
Governor of Western Australia
The Honourable Kim Beazley AC was installed as Governor on the 1st May 2018 as the 33rd Governor of Western Australia. Mr Beazley was born in Subiaco, educated at Hollywood Senior High School and completed two degrees at The University of Western Australia. He served for nearly three decades in the Australian Federal Parliament and for a period of six years as Ambassador to the United States of America.
Prior to becoming Governor, Mr Beazley had a distinguished record of service to the public, leadership and representation of Australia.
In 2009, Mr Beazley was awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia for service to the Parliament of Australia through contributions to the development of government policies in relation to defence and international relations, as an advocate for Indigenous people and for service to the community.
Mr Beazley was elected to the Federal Parliament in 1980 and represented the electorates of Swan (1980-96) and Brand (1996-2007).
In the Hawke and Keating Labor Governments (1983-1996) Mr Beazley held, at various times, the portfolios of Defence, Finance, Transport and Communications, Employment Education and Training, Aviation, and Special Minister of State.
From 1995 to 1996, Mr Beazley served as Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Australian Labor Party and was Leader of the Opposition from 1996 to 2001, and 2005 to 2006. Mr Beazley served on parliamentary committees, including the Joint Intelligence Committee and the Joint Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee.