Governor of South Australia facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsGovernor of South Australia
Flag of the Governor
Badge of the Governor
|Style||Her Excellency the Honourable|
|Residence||Government House, Adelaide|
|Nominator||Premier of South Australia|
|Appointer||Monarch of Australia
on the advice of the Premier
|Term length||At His Majesty's pleasure
(usually 5 years by convention)
|Formation||28 December 1836|
|First holder||Captain John Hindmarsh|
The governor of South Australia is the representative in South Australia of the Monarch of Australia, currently King Charles III. 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. 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).
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.
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
Governor's Awards and Commendations
The Governor of South Australia supports outstanding achievers within the South Australian community through the presentation of a number of annual awards:
- The Governor's Multicultural Awards recognise and celebrate South Australians who promote multiculturalism and increase the understanding of the benefits of cultural diversity in our community; administered by the Department of the Premier and Cabinet through Multicultural Affairs. They are presented by His Excellency the Governor on the advice of an independent judging panel.
- The Governor's Aboriginal Youth Awards recognise young Aboriginal South Australians, aged between 15 and 29 years, who are showing potential and determination to achieve success, or who are excelling in their chosen field in one of three areas: Sport, Arts and Higher Education; delivered through a partnership between the Department of the Premier and Cabinet’s Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation division and the Office of the Governor.
- The Governor’s Civics Awards for Schools provide the opportunity for young South Australians to develop their understanding of the role citizenship plays in a multicultural and democratic society. The inaugural awards in 2019 had two categories: an individual and a group award for Year 5 students; in 2020, they expanded to include students from Years 5-12.
The Governor also awards a series of commendations for excellence in the SACE year 12 exams, including:
- Governor of South Australia Commendation - Excellence Award
- Governor of South Australia Commendation - Aboriginal Student SACE Excellence Award
- Governor of South Australia Commendation - Excellence in Modified SACE Award.
List of governors of South Australia
|No.||Portrait||Governor||Term begin||Term end||Time in office|
|Governor appointed by King William IV (1830–1837):|
|1||Rear Admiral Sir John Hindmarsh , KH||28 December 1836||16 July 1838||1 year, 200 days|
|Governors appointed by Queen Victoria (1837–1901):|
|2||Lieutenant-Colonel George Gawler , KH||17 October 1838||15 May 1841||2 years, 210 days|
|3||Sir George Grey , KCB||15 May 1841||25 October 1845||4 years, 163 days|
|4||Lieutenant-Colonel Frederick Holt Robe||25 October 1845||2 August 1848||2 years, 282 days|
|5||Sir Henry Fox Young , KCMG||2 August 1848||20 December 1854||6 years, 140 days|
|6||Sir Richard Graves MacDonnell , KCMG, CB||8 June 1855||4 March 1862||6 years, 269 days|
|7||Sir Dominick Daly||4 March 1862||19 February 1868||5 years, 352 days|
|8||The Rt Hon. Sir James Fergusson , Bt||16 February 1869||18 April 1873||4 years, 61 days|
|9||Sir Anthony Musgrave , KCMG||9 June 1873||29 January 1877||3 years, 234 days|
|10||Lieutenant-General Sir William Jervois , GCMG, CB||2 October 1877||9 January 1883||5 years, 99 days|
|11||Sir William Robinson , GCMG||19 February 1883||5 March 1889||6 years, 14 days|
|12||The Rt Hon. Earl of Kintore , GCMG||11 April 1889||10 April 1895||5 years, 364 days|
|13||Sir Fowell Buxton , Bt, GCMG||29 October 1895||29 March 1899||3 years, 151 days|
|14||The Rt Hon. Lord Tennyson , GCMG||10 April 1899||17 July 1902||3 years, 98 days|
|Governors appointed by King Edward VII (1901–1910):|
|15||Sir George Le Hunte , KCMG||1 July 1903||18 February 1909||5 years, 232 days|
|16||Admiral Sir Day Bosanquet , GCVO, KCB||18 February 1909||22 March 1914||5 years, 32 days|
|Governors appointed by King George V (1910–1936):|
|17||Lieutenant Colonel Sir Henry Galway , KCMG, DSO||18 April 1914||30 April 1920||6 years, 12 days|
|18||Lieutenant Colonel Sir Archibald Weigall , KCMG||9 June 1920||30 May 1922||1 year, 355 days|
|19||Lieutenant-General Sir Tom Bridges , KCB, KCMG, DSO||4 December 1922||4 December 1927||5 years, 0 days|
|20||Brigadier The Hon. Sir Alexander Hore-Ruthven , VC, KCMG, CB, DSO*||14 May 1928||26 April 1934||5 years, 347 days|
|21||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):|
|22||Sir Malcolm Barclay-Harvey , KCMG||12 August 1939||26 April 1944||4 years, 258 days|
|23||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 (1952–2022):|
|24||Air Vice-Marshal Sir Robert George , KCMG, KCVO, KBE, CB, MC||23 February 1953||7 March 1960||7 years, 13 days|
|25||Lieutenant-General Sir Edric Bastyan , KCMG, KCVO, KBE, CB||4 April 1961||1 June 1968||7 years, 58 days|
|26||Major General Sir James Harrison , KCMG, CB, CBE||4 December 1968||16 September 1971||2 years, 286 days|
|27||Professor Sir Mark Oliphant , AC, KBE||1 December 1971||30 November 1976||4 years, 365 days|
|28||Sir Douglas Nicholls , KCVO, OBE||1 December 1976||30 April 1977||150 days|
|29||Reverend Sir Keith Seaman , KCVO, OBE||1 September 1977||28 March 1982||4 years, 208 days|
|30||Lieutenant General Sir Donald Dunstan , AC, KBE, CB||23 April 1982||5 February 1991||8 years, 288 days|
|31||The Hon. Dame Roma Mitchell , AC, DBE, CVO, QC||6 February 1991||21 July 1996||5 years, 166 days|
|32||Sir Eric Neal , AC, CVO||22 July 1996||3 November 2001||5 years, 104 days|
|33||Marjorie Jackson-Nelson , AC, CVO, MBE||3 November 2001||31 July 2007||5 years, 242 days|
|34||Rear Admiral The Hon. Kevin Scarce , AC, CSC||8 August 2007||7 August 2014||6 years, 364 days|
|35||The Hon. Hieu Van Le , AC||1 September 2014||31 August 2021||6 years, 364 days|
|36||Frances Adamson , AC||7 October 2021||2 years, 52 days|
Administrators and lieutenant-governors
These people administered the government in the absence of the official governor.
|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|
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