Role of the Governor


The Governor of Victoria is appointed by the Queen, on the advice of the Premier, to act as her representative as Head of State in Victoria. Since the Australia Acts of 1986, it is the Governor, and not the Queen, who exercises all the powers of the Head of State, and he or she is not subject to the direction or supervision of the Monarch. Upon appointment, the Governor becomes a Viceroy. The Governor's main responsibilities fall into four broad categories: constitutional, ceremonial, community engagement and international engagement.


Constitutional Responsibilities

The Governor helps to ensure that the Victorian Parliament and Government act within the boundaries of the Victorian Constitution, which provides for our system of representative democracy.

The Governor is constitutionally bound to act upon the advice of Ministers, but does have the right to question and counsel Ministers. The Governor oversees the orderly transition from one government to the next and, in certain circumstances, has the power to dissolve Parliament.

Other key constitutional responsibilities of the Governor include:

  • giving Royal Assent to bills passed by the Parliament
  • chairing the Executive Council
  • appointing and dismissing Ministers


The first all-female Executive Council meeting.The first all-female Executive Council meeting.


Ceremonial Duties 

The Governor often speaks on behalf of or for the community.

The ceremonial duties of the Governor include events such as the Opening of Parliament, leading the Dawn Service and march past on ANZAC Day, swearing in Supreme Court Judges and Ministers, presiding at investitures for the Order of Australia and presenting awards to Scouts, Guides and others.


 Melbourne Legacy's ANZAC Commemoration Ceremony for students. April 2016 - Copy Melbourne Legacy's ANZAC Commemoration Ceremony for students.


Community Engagement

As an apolitical leader, the Governor is seen as a symbol of unity who represents, and has empathy with, the whole community and who encourages attitudes of community cohesion and mutual respect.

One of the Governor’s main tasks is to foster attitudes that support democracy and create a cohesive community. The Governor encourages people to reach a high level of achievement in voluntary service, industry, education, the arts, sport, bravery, caring for those in need and numerous other areas of benefit to the community.

As patron, the Governor supports and promotes more than 150 not-for-profit organisations involved in these fields.

Whether delivering a speech, attending local or overseas engagements, supporting charities and organisations, presenting awards and honours, or visiting places of importance in Victoria, this commitment to service underlies all activities of the Governor and his or her spouse.

The Governor and their spouse work hard to learn as much as they can about the Victorian community. They travel throughout Victoria, meeting as many people and visiting as many places and organisations as they can.

 Visiting members of Riddells Creek Community Centre in the Macedon Ranges. Visiting members of the Riddells Creek Community Centre in the Macedon Ranges.

International Engagement

As part of the Governor's international duties, the Governor receives diplomats, international visitors and delegations at Government House, and travels overseas on behalf of Victoria.

On these occasions, the Governor's role is to build friendship and good relations with other nations, and to promote Victoria's social, economic and cultural interests.


 Welcoming delegates of the Australia India Leadership Dialogue to Victoria. Welcoming delegates of the Australia India Leadership Dialogue to Victoria.


pdfRole of the Governor Booklet (PDF, 1.75 KB)