Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Part 2 - The Forty-fourth Parliament - The Governor-General

Download PDF Download PDF

The Governor-General

The Governor-General is appointed by the Queen, on the advice of the Australian Prime Minister, to be her representative in Australia, with powers as specified in the Constitution, and 'such powers and functions of the Queen as Her Majesty may be pleased to assign to him'.

The Governor-General exercises the following powers with respect to the Parliament: the appointment of times for parliamentary sessions, the prorogation or dissolution of Parliament, the appointment of the Ministry, and the declaration of Royal Assent to legislation passed by Parliament.

His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove, AK, MC (Retd)

Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia

Peter Cosgrove was born in Sydney in 1947. The son of a soldier, he attended Waverley College in Sydney and graduated in 1968 from the Royal Military College, Duntroon. Early in his military career, he fought in Vietnam, commanding a rifle platoon. He was awarded the Military Cross in 1971 for his performance and leadership during an assault on enemy positions. In 1972, he served as Aide-de-Camp to Governor-General Sir Paul Hasluck. He returned to regimental life as second in command of a Company, rising to Adjutant then Company Commander in the Army's 5th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (5 RAR), then 5/7 RAR in Holsworthy, Sydney.

Subsequent appointments included a period as a tactics instructor at the Army's Infantry Centre in Singleton, New South Wales; a year's study at the United States Marine Corps Staff College in Quantico, USA; extended periods of duty in the United Kingdom and India; and command of 1 RAR. He was appointed a Member in the Military Division of the Order of Australia (AM) for his service in command in 1983-84. In 1999, as Commander of the International Task Force East Timor (INTERFET), he was responsible for overseeing that country's transition to independence. For his leadership in this role he was promoted to Companion in the Military Division of the Order of Australia (AC). Promoted to Lieutenant General, he was appointed Chief of Army in 2000. After further promotion to General, he served as Chief of the Defence Force from 2002 to 2005. He retired from the Australian Defence Force in 2005.

On 28 March 2014, he was sworn in as the twenty-sixth Governor-General, and also become a Knight of the Order of Australia.