Governors of New South Wales

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The Governor of New South Wales is the state viceregal representative of the Australian monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, who is equally shared with 15 other sovereign nations in a form of personal union, as well as with the eleven other jurisdictions of Australia, and resides predominantly in her oldest realm, the United Kingdom. On the advice of her New South Wales Premier only,[1] 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—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.[1]

The office has its origin in the 18th century colonial governors of 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 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.[2] 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 (Cth) (see Statute of Westminster) and the Australia Act 1986, whereafter the governor became the direct, personal representative of the uniquely Australian sovereign.

The current Governor is Professor Marie Bashir, who has served since 1 March 2001; Labor Premier Bob Carr recommended her to replace former Justice Gordon Samuels. Bashir had her term extended in October 2004 to February 2008,[3] which was further extended in October 2007 for a further five years to 2012.[4]


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