Under the Constitution, The Queen appoints the Governor-General, but in accordance with convention, this is done on the advice of the Prime Minister.
On 13 April, 2008, the Prime Minister, the Hon. Kevin Rudd made the following announcement, which confirms :
I am pleased to announce that The Queen, on my recommendation as Prime Minister of Australia, has approved the appointment of Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce AC as the next Governor-General of Australia.
Ms Bryce will succeed His Excellency Major General Michael Jeffery AC CVO MC (Rtd) on 5 September 2008 and be Australia’s 25th Governor-General.
Her Excellency Ms Bryce was appointed in July 2003 as the 24th Governor of Queensland.She has been an inspiring Governor and has served the people of Queensland with great distinction.
Ms Bryce has an outstanding record of service to the entire Australian community. She is highly qualified for the role of Governor-General. Ms Bryce has enjoyed a rich and dynamic career as a lawyer, academic and senior public office holder.
Her former roles include Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner, inaugural Director of the Queensland Women’s Information Service and founding chair and Chief Executive Officer of the National Childcare Accreditation Council.
Ms Bryce will be Australia’s first female Governor-General.
Although the appointment is at The Queen’s pleasure, a five-year term is considered usual.
Ms Bryce and her husband, Adjunct Professor Michael Bryce AM AE, were married in1964. They have two daughters, three sons and five grandchildren.
On behalf of the Government and the people of Australia, I extend very sincere
congratulations to Ms Bryce.
….curriculum vitae…Ms. Quentin Bryce, AC..
Ms Quentin Bryce has enjoyed a rich and dynamic career as a talented lawyer, academic, and senior public officer, and as a prolific and dedicated contributor to a range of community organisations.
She has made choices throughout her professional and community life that reflect her strong sense of responsibility to the community; her commitment to advancing human rights and equality, the rights of women and children, and the welfare of the family; and her willingness to share her skills and experiences to improve the lives of many.
As a mother of five children, and now as a grandmother, these things rest close and dear to her heart. Ms Bryce’s achievements and participation in professional and community service are immense and outstanding, and have been recognised in her appointment as a Companion of the Order of Australia.
Her former roles include: inaugural Director of the Queensland Women’s Information Service, Office of the Status of Women; Queensland Director of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission; Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner; founding Chair and Chief Executive of the National Childcare Accreditation Council; and Principal and Chief Executive Officer of The Women’s College, University of Sydney, Member of Australian Delegation to the United Nations Human Rights Commission, Lecturer in Law School, University of Queensland.
Now in her role as Governor of Queensland, Ms Bryce takes great pleasure in the honour of passing on to Queenslanders the benefits of her many years of wisdom and passion.
… 'No' to an elected president…
“I have two questions for those of you who voted against Australia becoming a republic because you favoured direct election of the president,” wrote in a letter published in The Sydney Morning Herald of 16 April 2008.
“If a presidential election were held today, who do you think would win? Quentin Bryce, a woman most people have never heard of, but who has a distinguished career behind her, or Shane Warne, a man who can throw a cricket ball well?
“And the next time we are allowed to vote on the republic issue could you please keep in mind the nauseating vision of a sportsman/Idol winner/Big Brother personality representing Australia to overseas heads of state when you decide whether to vote for direct election of our president?
“It was great to see how thrilled Quentin Bryce was to be announced as Australia’s next governor-general but sad that republicans remain so intent on demeaning this important national office, wrote Brett Hogan, Victorian Convenor of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy in a letter published in The Australian on 15 April, 2008.
“ I hope that people stop for a moment to reflect on the fact that the office of governor-general enjoys a special place in the Australian Constitution, above the hurly-burly of political debate and is our anchor to the politically neutral crown.
“Last year, we had a peaceful transition from one prime minister to another and later this year will have a peaceful transition from one constitutional head of state to another. There are plenty of republics throughout the world that would love to have what we have.”
…Major-General Jeffery and the media…
The media do hunt in a pack. There was obviously a boycott of Major –General Jeffery, and some quite unjustified campaigns against him.
Quite often they then complained he was invisible.
Some politicians behaved badly, but now they are his ministers.
According to the ethical code, the newspaper should publish these. The journalists can then put in their defence – if they have one. If they don’t have a defence, they should apologise.
He and Mrs Jeffery have been tireless in fulfiing their duties.
His behaviour has been impeccable.