Residence of the Governor
Government House was purpose-built as a residence for the Governor in 1876. It continues to fulfil that purpose today as the residence of the Governor and Mr Howard.
The Governor and Mr Howard host events at Government House which contribute to the Governor's four main areas of responsibility: constitutional, ceremonial, community and international.
All events at Government House are hosted by the Governor and Mr Howard. Government House is not available for political, commercial or fundraising purposes, and is not hired as a function venue to members of the public.
A diverse range of events
The Governor and Mr Howard open Government House to a cross-section of Victorians, and Australian and international guests.
As part of this aim, they have hosted a number of ‘firsts’ at Government House.
- overnight school camp-outs on the lawn for primary school students as part of a program to encourage them to lead active lives and to try new experiences, and to mark VicHealth’s 30th anniversary.
- a youth concert in the Ballroom featuring up and coming artists Alex Lahey, Mallrat and Japanese Wallpaper, attended by 600 young people as part of the Governor’s Performance Series and to celebrate National Youth Week in April 2017
- an International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) reception in May 2017 in support of the LGBTI community – the first such event at a Vice-Regal residence in Australia. Read the Governor's speech.
- a youth Iftar dinner in the State Dining Room in June 2017, attended by youth of all faiths, in recognition of Victoria’s multicultural identity.
- the transformation of the Ballroom into a temporary blood donor centre in July 2017 in recognition of historic link between the Australian Red Cross and Government House, and in support of the Australian Red Cross Blood Service.
- The launch of the Daniher’s Drive, an event for 360 drivers taking part in the four-day road trip to raise awareness of motor neuron disease. Over 100 vintage and classic cars departed Government House in the early hours of the morning on the first official say of the road trip.
- Circus OZ workshop and performance in the Ballroom, featuring high flying acrobatics performed from a circus rig constructed between the chandeliers in the Ballroom
Other types of events at Government House include morning teas to thank patronage organisations for the work they do; receptions to welcome delegates visiting Victoria as part of major international conferences; and hosting presentations to recognise the service and achievement Victorians.
Government House, Victoria, has hosted meetings of both the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) and the Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN).
The Governor conducts her daily work, holds meetings and receives callers at Government House. Staff from the Office of the Governor, who support the Governor to carry out her official duties and who are responsible for maintaining the house and its grounds, also have offices at Government House.