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Governor of South Australia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Governor of South Australia
Badge of the Governor of South Australia.svg
Badge of the Governor
Flag of the Governor of South Australia.svg
Flag of the Governor
Hieu Van Le

since 1 September 2014
StyleHis Excellency the Honourable
ResidenceGovernment House, Adelaide
NominatorPremier of South Australia
AppointerMonarch of Australia
on the advice of the Premier
Term lengthAt Her Majesty's pleasure
(usually 5 years by convention)
Formation28 December 1836
First holderCaptain John Hindmarsh

The Governor of South Australia is the representative in the Australian state of South Australia of Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia. The Governor performs the same constitutional and ceremonial functions at the state level as does the Governor-General of Australia at the national 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 South Australia. Nevertheless, the Governor retains the reserve powers of the Crown, and has the right to dismiss the Premier. As from June 2014, the Queen, upon the recommendation of the Premier, accorded all current, future and living former Governors the title 'The Honourable' for life.[1] The first six Governors oversaw the colony from proclamation in 1836, until self-government and an elected Parliament of South Australia was granted in the year prior to the inaugural 1857 election.

The first Australian-born Governor of South Australia was Major-General Sir James Harrison (appointed 1968), and most subsequent governors have been Australian-born. The first South Australian-born governor was Sir Mark Oliphant (appointed 1971), and the first Aboriginal governor was Sir Douglas Nicholls (appointed 1976). The current governor is Hieu Van Le.,[2] who commenced when the term of the previous governor, Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce, expired on 7 August 2014.[3][4] The Governor's official residence is Government House, in Adelaide, the state's capital.


Prior to self-government, the Governor was responsible to the Government of the United Kingdom and was charged with implementing laws and policy. Currently, the Governor is responsible for safeguarding the South Australian Constitution and facilitating the work of the Parliament and state government.

The Governor exercises power on the advice of Ministers, conveyed through the Executive Council. Constitutional powers bestowed upon the Governor and used with the consent and advice of the Executive Council include:

  • to appoint and dismiss Ministers.
  • exercising the prerogative of mercy.
  • issuing regulations and proclamations under existing laws.
  • giving Royal Assent to bills passed by Parliament.
  • appointing judges, royal commissioners and senior public servants.
  • dissolving Parliament and issuing writs for elections.

The Governor additionally maintains 'reserve powers' which can be used without the consent of the Executive Council. These powers relate to the appointment and dismissal of Ministers and Parliament.[5]

Governor's Standard

The governor standard of South Australia is the same design as the British blue ensign with the Union Flag at the upper left quarter. On the right side, the State Badge of South Australia, comprising a piping shrike in a golden disc, is surmounted by the St. Edward's crown.

If the Standard is flying at Government House, on a vehicle or at an event, this indicates that the Governor is present.

Past and present standards of the governor

List of Governors of South Australia

No. Portrait Governor[6] Term begin Term end Time in office
Governor appointed by King William IV (1830–1837):
Governor John Hindmarsh.jpg
Rear Admiral Sir John Hindmarsh KH 28 December 1836 16 July 1838 1 year, 200 days
Governors appointed by Queen Victoria (1837–1901):
George Gawler.jpg
Lieutenant-Colonel George Gawler KH 17 October 1838 15 May 1841 2 years, 210 days
Sir George Grey KCB 15 May 1841 25 October 1845 4 years, 163 days
Frederick Robe.jpg
Lieutenant-Colonel Frederick Holt Robe 25 October 1845 2 August 1848 2 years, 282 days
Sir Henry Young.jpg
Sir Henry Fox Young KCMG 2 August 1848 20 December 1854 6 years, 140 days
Richard Graves MacDonnell.jpg
Sir Richard Graves MacDonnell KCMG, CB 8 June 1855 4 March 1862 6 years, 269 days
Sir Dominick Daly 4 March 1862 19 February 1868 5 years, 352 days
Sir James Fergusson.jpg
The Rt Hon. Sir James Fergusson Bt 16 February 1869 18 April 1873 4 years, 61 days
Sir Anthony Musgrave KCMG 9 June 1873 29 January 1877 3 years, 234 days
William Jervois.jpg
Lieutenant-General Sir William Jervois GCMG, CB 2 October 1877 9 January 1883 5 years, 99 days
Sir William Robinson GCMG 19 February 1883 5 March 1889 6 years, 14 days
Algernon Keith-Falconer.jpg
The Rt Hon. Earl of Kintore GCMG 11 April 1889 10 April 1895 5 years, 364 days
Sir Thomas Buxton Bt, GCMG 29 October 1895 29 March 1899 3 years, 151 days
The Rt Hon. Lord Tennyson GCMG 10 April 1899 17 July 1902 3 years, 98 days
Governors appointed by King Edward VII (1901–1910):
Sir George Le Hunte KCMG 1 July 1903 18 February 1909 5 years, 232 days
Day Bosanquet.jpg
Admiral Sir Day Bosanquet GCVO, KCB 18 February 1909 22 March 1914 5 years, 32 days
Governors appointed by King George V (1910–1936):
Henry Galway.jpg
Lieutenant Colonel Sir Henry Galway KCMG, DSO 18 April 1914 30 April 1920 6 years, 12 days
William Weigall.jpg
Lieutenant Colonel Sir William Archibald Weigall KCMG 9 June 1920 30 May 1922 1 year, 355 days
Tom Bridges 1918.jpg
Lieutenant-General Sir Tom Bridges KCB, KCMG, DSO 4 December 1922 4 December 1927 5 years, 0 days
Brigadier The Hon. Sir Alexander Hore-Ruthven VC, KCMG, CB, DSO* 14 May 1928 26 April 1934 5 years, 347 days
Winston Dugan.jpg
Major-General Sir Winston Dugan KCMG, CB, DSO 28 July 1934 23 February 1939 4 years, 210 days
Governors appointed by King George VI (1936–1952):
Malcolm Barclay-Harvey.jpg
Sir Malcolm Barclay-Harvey KCMG 12 August 1939 26 April 1944 4 years, 258 days
Willoughby Norrie.jpg
Lieutenant-General Sir Willoughby Norrie KCMG, CB, DSO, MC 19 December 1944 19 June 1952 7 years, 183 days
Governors appointed by Queen Elizabeth II (since 1952):
Robert George 1956.jpg
Air Vice-Marshal Sir Robert George KCMG, KCVO, KBE, CB, MC 23 February 1953 7 March 1960 7 years, 13 days
Badge of the Governor of South Australia.svg
Lieutenant-General Sir Edric Bastyan KCMG, KCVO, KBE, CB 4 April 1961 1 June 1968 7 years, 58 days
Badge of the Governor of South Australia.svg
Major General Sir James Harrison KCMG, CB, CBE 4 December 1968 16 September 1971 2 years, 286 days
Sir Mark Oliphant.jpg
Professor Sir Mark Oliphant AC, KBE 1 December 1971 30 November 1976 4 years, 365 days
Douglas nicholls.jpg
Sir Douglas Nicholls KCVO, OBE 1 December 1976 30 April 1977 150 days
Badge of the Governor of South Australia.svg
Reverend Sir Keith Seaman KCVO, OBE 1 September 1977 28 March 1982 4 years, 208 days
Badge of the Governor of South Australia.svg
Lieutenant General Sir Donald Dunstan AC, KBE, CB 23 April 1982 5 February 1991 8 years, 288 days
Roma Mitchell 1965.jpg
The Hon. Dame Roma Mitchell AC, DBE, CVO, QC 6 February 1991 21 July 1996 5 years, 166 days
Sir Eric Neal in Adelaide, South Australia 2016.jpg
Sir Eric Neal AC, CVO 22 July 1996 3 November 2001 5 years, 104 days
Marjorie Jackson.jpg
Marjorie Jackson-Nelson AC, CVO, MBE 3 November 2001 31 July 2007 5 years, 242 days
Kevin Scarce in 2008.jpg
Rear Admiral The Hon. Kevin Scarce AC, CSC 8 August 2007 7 August 2014 6 years, 364 days
Hieu Van Le 2015.jpg
The Hon. Hieu Van Le AC 1 September 2014 present 6 years, 181 days

Administrators and Lieutenant-Governors

These people administered the government in the absence of the official governor.[6]

Administrator Term
George Milner Stephen 1838
Boyle Travers Finniss 1854-55
Lt.-Col. Francis Gilbert Hamley 1868-69
Major James Harwood Rocke 1870
Hon. Sir Richard Davies Hanson, Chief Justice 1872-73
Sir William Wellington Cairns, K.C.M.G 1877
Hon. Samuel James Way, Chief Justice, Lt.-Gov. 1877 to 1915 (on 65 separate occasions)
Hon. James Penn Boucaut, Judge of Supreme Court 1885, 1886, 1888, 1890, 1891, 1897
Hon. William Henry Bundey, Judge of Supreme Court 1888
Hon. Sir George John Robert Murray, Chief Justice, Lt.-Gov. 1916–24, 1926–42 (on 103 separate occasions)
Hon. Thomas Slaney Poole, Judge of Supreme Court 1925 (on 2 occasions)
Hon. Sir Herbert Angas Parsons, Judge of Supreme Court 1935 to 1942 (on 6 separate occasions)
Hon. Sir John Mellis Napier, Chief Justice, Lt.-Gov. 1942 to 1973 (on 179 separate occasions)
Hon. Sir Herbert Mayo, Judge of Supreme Court 1946 to 1965 (on 25 separate occasions)
Hon. Sir Geoffrey Sandford Reed, Judge of Supreme Court 1951 to 1957 (on 5 separate occasions)
Hon. John Jefferson Bray, Chief Justice 1968 to 1973 (on 8 separate occasions)
Hon. David Stirling Hogarth, Judge of Supreme Court 1971
Sir Walter Crocker, Lt.-Gov. 1973 to 1982 (on 29 separate occasions)
Hon. Sir Condor Laucke, Lt.-Gov. 1982 to 1992 (on 43 separate occasions)
Hon. Leonard James King, A.C., Chief Justice 1987
Hon. Dr. Basil Hetzel, Lt.-Gov. 1992 to 2000 (on 32 separate occasions)
Hon. John Doyle, Chief Justice 1999-2012 (on 10 separate occasions)
Hon. Bruno Krumins, Lt.-Gov. 2000-2007 (on 60 separate occasions)
Hon. John William Perry, Judge of Supreme Court 2002
Hon. Hieu Van Le, Lt.-Gov. 2007–2014
Hon. Brenda Wilson, Lt.-Gov. 2014–date

Living former governors

Three former governors are alive, the oldest being Sir Eric Neal (1996–2001, born 1924). The latest-serving former governor to die was Dame Roma Mitchell (1991–1996), on 5 March 2000. The most recent death of a former governor was that of Sir Keith Seaman (1977-1982), on 30 June 2013.

Name Term as governor Date of birth
Sir Eric Neal 1996–2001 (1924-06-03) 3 June 1924 (age 96)
Marjorie Jackson-Nelson 2001–2007 (1931-09-13) 13 September 1931 (age 89)
Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce 2007–2014 (1952-05-04) 4 May 1952 (age 68)

External links


  1. ^ SA Government Gazette
  2. ^ Former refugee Hieu Van Le sworn in as South Australia's governor during official ceremony, ABC News, 1 September 2014.
  3. ^ Hieu Van Le to be next SA Governor, from war-torn Vietnam to vice-regal post: ABC 26 June 2014
  4. ^ Kevin Scarce appointed SA governor by Premier Mike Rann Archived 31 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine, Press release, 3 May 2007,
  5. ^ "Role of the Governor". Government House South Australia. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Table A: Governors and Administrators" (PDF). Parliament of South Australia. 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 March 2011. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
This page was last edited on 2 January 2021, at 17:44
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