Goverment House

In 2011, the Governor launched a history book titled Government House and Western Australian Society 1829-2010 by Jeremy C Martens. The author successfully presented the historian’s perspective that, since the early colonial era, the “House and its grounds can be a useful and valuable lens through which to view the fascinating historical evolution of Western Australia and its people.” To celebrate the opening of the present House in September 1863, this timeline illustrates snapshots of the history of the development of Government House, the State, the Nation and the World for the past 150 years.


Governors

1828
1829
1830
1831
1839
1840
1841
1842
1843
1844
1845
1846
1847
1848
1849
1850
1851
1852
1853
1854
1855
1856
1857
1858
1859
1860
1861
1862
1863
1864
1865
1866
1867
1868
1869
1870
1871
1872
1873
1874
1875
1876
1877
1878
1879
1880
1881
1882
1883
1884
1885
1886
1887
1888
1889
1890
1891
1892
1893
1894
1895
1896
1897
1898
1899
1900
1901
1902
1903
1904
1905
1906
1907
1908
1909
1910
1911
1912
1913
1914
1915
1916
1917
1918
1919
1920
1921
1922
1923
1924
1925
1926
1927
1928
1948
1949
1950
1951
1952
1953
1954
1963
1964
1965
1966
1967
1974
1975
1976
1977
1978
1979
1980
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014

Captain Sir James Stirling RN
30 December 1828 to 2 January 1839

Captain (later Sir) James Stirling was born on 28 January 1791 in Lanarkshire, Scotland. He married Ellen Mangles in 1823 and they had eleven children, five sons and six daughters. Commanded the HMS Success in 1826 to report on the Swan River.

Formed a British settlement in Western Australia, arriving in June 1829.

Became the colony’s first Governor until 1839.

John Hutt Esq
3 January 1839 to 26 January 1846

John Hutt had been the Governor of North Arcott in the Madras Presidency and came from a family famed for its colonisation efforts. In late 1837, as Superintendent of Emigration for the South Australian Colonisation Commission, Hutt applied unsuccessfully for the governorship of South Australia.

However, his abilities impressed the Colonial Office and he was appointed Governor of Western Australia.

He reportedly held strong views about colonisation and was often in conflict with the colony’s settlers.

Lieutenant-Colonel Andrew K H Clarke
27 January 1846 to 11 February 1847

Lieutenant-Colonel Andrew Clarke, an Irishman, was a distinguished soldier and administrator.

From having charge of all troops in Van Dieman’s Land (Tasmania) at 18 years of age, he rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the 46th Regiment of Infantry of Australia.

Unfortunately, his strenuous military service took its toll on his health. In 1846 at 53 years old he assumed the post of Governor of Western Australia, but contracted a serious illness just six months after arriving in the colony and died early in 1847 and is buried at the East Perth cemetery.

Captain Charles Fitzgerald RN
12 August 1848 to 22 July 1855

Captain Fitzgerald was the son of a country gentleman of Irish ancestry and became a captain in the Royal Navy. He served as Governor of the Gambia Settlements in West Africa.

As Governor of Western Australia from 1848, he is largely remembered for the role he played in introducing convicts to Western Australia. Settlers had battled to keep the colony afloat. With Governor Fitzgerald’s support, it was decided to make Western Australia a penal settlement and the compulsory labour and system had a massive impact on the colony’s public infrastructure.

Sir Arthur Edward Kennedy
23 July 1855 to 19 February 1862

Sir Arthur was the third Irishman in a row to be appointed Governor of Western Australia.

He was a retired infantry officer who attained the rank of Captain before becoming the Country Inspector of the Board of Works and later Relief Inspector during the Irish famine.

When he arrived in Western Australia in mid 1855, the then Government House that had been erected in Stirling’s term was in ‘such a state’ that Kennedy, his wife Georgina and their family moved in only because it had been impossible to rent a suitable residence elsewhere.

The current Government House was designed and erected during Governor Kennedy’s term of office, although he had left the colony in 1862, before the building was completed.

John Stephen Hampton Esq
28 February 1862 to 1 November 1868

Awarded a medical diploma at Edinburgh in 1828, and in 1829 entered the navy as an assistant surgeon.

Following service on a number of convict ships to Van Diemen's Land, Hampton was appointed Comptroller-General of Convicts in Van Diemen's Land in May 1846.

In 1861, Hampton was appointed Governor of Western Australia arriving in the colony the following year. He, his wife Mary and their son George were the first residents of the current Government House.

As the Governor of a colony in a debt crisis, he introduced strict cost-cutting measures, including using convict labour whenever possible. Within a year the colony’s financial standing had recovered. His sound financial management endeared him to the Colonial Office, and went some way to alleviating his reportedly unpopular public image.

He died in 1869, a year after his term as Governor ended. The transportation of convicts to Western Australia ended soon after.

Sir Benjamin Chilley Campbell Pine
1868 to 1869

Sir Benjamin Pine has an odd claim to fame. He was the Governor who never took up office.

He was appointed under Letters Patent dated 30 July 1868 and became Western Australia’s eighth Governor despite never arriving, nor taking the Oath of Office.

Governor Pine was a career officer of the Colonial Service. Before his Western Australia appointment, he had already served 27 years in the colonies - successively in West Africa, Natal and then the West Indies. He had earned himself a good reputation in these postings.

Sir Frederick Aloysius Weld
30 September 1869
to 13 January 1875

Born on 9 May 1823 at Chideock, Dorset, Weld emigrated from England to New Zealand where he became a pastoralist and explorer. He was the sixth Premier of New Zealand, and later went on to serve as Governor of Western Australia, Governor of Tasmania and Governor of the Straits Settlements.

Frederick Weld was the colony’s first Catholic Governor. He died at Chideock in 1891, survived by six sons and six daughters. After his death, his widow Filumena withdrew to a convent of which their daughter, Edith Mary, was prioress.

Sir William Cleaver Francis Robinson GCMG
11 January 1875 to 6 September 1877

Sir William Robinson had been Governor of the Falklands Islands and King Edward Island (part of the Dominion of Canada) before his appointment to Western Australia in 1875.

Sir William married Olivia Edith Deane in April 1862 and they had three sons and two daughters.

He relinquished the position of Governor of Western Australia in 1877 to follow Weld and take on the appointment of Governor of the Straits Settlement. In the same year he was knighted.

In 1880, he again assumed the office of Governor of Western Australia. During his second term he vastly improved the colony’s financial position from debt to surplus.

In 1883, he left to assume the office of Governor of South Australia it was “with feeling of regret that his departure was heralded”. He left South Australia in 1889 to act as Governor of Victoria.

Sir William was again appointed Governor of Western Australia in 1890 for a third term.

Music was the passion of his life and many of the songs which he had composed during earlier years became popular throughout Australia and he did much to uplift Perth's cultural life. It is thought that the Bechstein boudoir grand piano (c1876), currently situated in the Music Room at Government House was installed during Robinson’s first term of office.

He died in South Kensington on 2 May 1897.

Sir William Cleaver Francis Robinson GCMG
10 April 1880 to 13 February 1883

Sir William Robinson had been Governor of the Falklands Islands and King Edward Island (part of the Dominion of Canada) before his appointment to Western Australia in 1875.

Sir William married Olivia Edith Deane in April 1862 and they had three sons and two daughters.

He relinquished the position of Governor of Western Australia in 1877 to follow Weld and take on the appointment of Governor of the Straits Settlement. In the same year he was knighted.

In 1880, he again assumed the office of Governor of Western Australia. During his second term he vastly improved the colony’s financial position from debt to surplus.

In 1883, he left to assume the office of Governor of South Australia it was “with feeling of regret that his departure was heralded”. He left South Australia in 1889 to act as Governor of Victoria.

Sir William was again appointed Governor of Western Australia in 1890 for a third term.

Music was the passion of his life and many of the songs which he had composed during earlier years became popular throughout Australia and he did much to uplift Perth's cultural life. It is thought that the Bechstein boudoir grand piano (c1876), currently situated in the Music Room at Government House was installed during Robinson’s first term of office.

He died in South Kensington on 2 May 1897.

Sir William Cleaver Francis Robinson GCMG
20 October 1890 to 17 March 1895

Sir William Robinson had been Governor of the Falklands Islands and King Edward Island (part of the Dominion of Canada) before his appointment to Western Australia in 1875.

Sir William married Olivia Edith Deane in April 1862 and they had three sons and two daughters.

He relinquished the position of Governor of Western Australia in 1877 to follow Weld and take on the appointment of Governor of the Straits Settlement. In the same year he was knighted.

In 1880, he again assumed the office of Governor of Western Australia. During his second term he vastly improved the colony’s financial position from debt to surplus.

In 1883, he left to assume the office of Governor of South Australia it was “with feeling of regret that his departure was heralded”. He left South Australia in 1889 to act as Governor of Victoria.

Sir William was again appointed Governor of Western Australia in 1890 for a third term.

Music was the passion of his life and many of the songs which he had composed during earlier years became popular throughout Australia and he did much to uplift Perth's cultural life. It is thought that the Bechstein boudoir grand piano (c1876), currently situated in the Music Room at Government House was installed during Robinson’s first term of office.

He died in South Kensington on 2 May 1897.

Sir Frederick Napier Broome KCMG
2 June 1883 to 20 December 1889

Sir Frederick Napier Broome, farmer, journalist and Governor, was born on 18 November 1842 in Canada.

He married Lady Mary Anne Barker in 1865. Lady Broome was a famous author and journalist in her own right.

Sir Frederick Broome’s six years in office were tumultuous with continuous clashes with senior officials despite the fact that he personally supported calls for self-government for Western Australia.

In August 1884, Broome suggested to the Colonial Office that a parliamentary system of government be established as he was convinced that responsible cabinet government would be successful. He believed that the population growth of Western Australia would enable the colony to pay its own way, an opinion confirmed by the discovery of the goldfields in Kimberley, Yilgarn and Pilbara in 1885 – 1888.

In July 1887 the Legislative Council asked Broome to take the necessary steps to introduce responsible government. The draft of a constitution bill was sent to London and in December 1888 general elections were held so that colonists could express their views on it.

In September 1890 Broome was appointed Acting-Governor of Barbados and Governor of Trinidad in 1891 to 1896. He died in London on 26 November 1896.

Major-General Sir Harry St George Ord RE KCMG CB
30 January 1878 to 9 April 1880

Born on 17 June 1819 at North Cray in Kent, Major-General Sir Harry Ord was destined to follow his father, a Captain in the Royal Artillery, into the military profession.

He married Julia Graham, daughter of Admiral James Carpenter, on 28 June 1846 in London and they had three sons.

Ord was Lieutenant Governor of South Australia for a few months and in January 1878 was appointed Governor of Western Australia.

Ord left the colony early in 1880 and spent his remaining years pursuing his interests in zoological science. He died suddenly of a heart attack in Homburg, Germany in 1885.

Lieutenant Colonel Sir Gerard Smith KCMG
23 December 1895 to 29 June 1900

Sir Gerard began his military career at the age of 18 and retired from the army in 1874 to join his father’s banking business.

Sir Gerard, who had been Groom-in-Waiting to Queen Victoria, was knighted in 1895. He was the first non-professional Governor appointed to Western Australia.

By the time Sir Gerard relinquished the post in 1900, Perth was growing into a city, a harbor was being built at Fremantle, Kalgoorlie was in its infancy and the pipeline to supply water to Coolgardie had begun.

On his return to England, he became director of several companies.

He died in London in 1920.

Captain Sir Arthur Lawley KCMG
1 May 1901 to 13 August 1902

Sir Arthur Lawley was appointed Governor at the age 41, and received a knighthood just prior to his appointment.

Soon after his arrival in Western Australia in 1901 he set sail to Melbourne where he represented Western Australia at the opening of Federal Parliament.

After a short tenure he was promoted by the Colonial Office to the position of Administrator of the Transvaal after the South African War. The high point of his governorship was the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York to Western Australia in 1901.

Reputedly, Lady Lawley, a ‘tee-totaller’, agreed to a suggestion that the suburb of Mount Lawley, then undeveloped bushland, be named after Governor Lawley but on the condition that no licensed hotels be built in the suburb.

Admiral Sir Frederick George Denham Bedford GCB
24 March 1903 to 22 April 1909

Admiral Sir Frederick Bedford was a naval officer with a distinguished career. He was born in England on 24 December 1838 and entered the Navy in 1852.

Sir Frederick was appointed Aide de Camp to Queen Victoria in 1888.

He arrived with his wife Ethel in Perth on 24 March 1903 and soon became popular. One of the main political events of his term of office was the brief reign of the State’s first Labor Government in 1904 to 1905.

A staunch supporter of the British Empire and of Britain/Australia relationships, Bedford considered it his duty to use the Vice Regal office to further the interests of the Empire he had served all his life.

Governor Bedford was also known for his artistic abilities and he and his wife spent a lot of time at the Governor’s residence on Rottnest Island painting and sketching.

Bedford left Perth on 14 April 1909 and after living in retirement in Surrey, he died at Walton, United Kingdom, on 30 January 1913.

Sir Gerald Strickland KCMG
31 May 1909 to 3 March 1913

Sir Gerald Strickland, sixth Count della Catena, and Lady Edeline Strickland arrived in Western Australia with their family in May 1909.

Strickland’s lineage was unusual for a British Imperial Governor; the eldest son of a Royal Navy captain and a Maltese heiress, he was born in Valletta, Malta in 1861 and succeeded to the countship of Catena in 1875.

He received an English education, and from an early age took an active role in Maltese politics, serving as chief secretary of the Mediterranean British colony between 1889 and 1902.

Strickland’s career as a colonial administrator included a term as Governor of the Leeward Islands before his promotion to Tasmania in 1904, where he was viceroy until his transfer to Western Australia in May 1909. On leaving Western Australia he was appointed Governor of New South Wales on 14 March 1913.

He died in Malta on 22 August 1940.

Major-General Sir Harry Barron KCMG CVO
17 March 1913 to 26 February 1917

Sir Harry Barron was born on 11 August 1847. Educated privately and at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, he was commissioned lieutenant in the Royal Artillery in 1867 and enjoyed the steady promotion of a successful peace-time professional officer.

He married Lady Clara Barron in 1877 and they had one daughter.

Barron became Governor of Tasmania from September 1909 to March 1913, then Governor of Western Australia until February 1917.

With the outbreak of the First World War, he and Lady Clara Barron were actively involved in Perth’s war effort. The Government House Ballroom was offered as a place for women to learn nursing, first aid and cooking. Clothing and supplies were collected at Government House and sorted by volunteers before being sent overseas. For his part, Barron lent his support to the recruitment drive, publicly recognising those men who had enlisted.

He retired to Weybridge, Surrey and died on 27 March 1921.

Sir William Grey Ellison-Macartney PC KCMG
9 April 1917 to 8 April 1920

Sir William Ellison-Macartney was well educated, attending Eton and Exeter Colleges, and Oxford where he studied history, law and politics. In 1912, he was appointed Governor of Tasmania and Knighted at the same time.

Sir William was the first Governor to have a car and when he took up the position of Governor he brought with him his two cars and a chauffeur.

As proud as he was to be viceroy of Western Australia, Governor Ellison-Macartney’s term of office would forever be blighted by the tragedy that befell his family in mid 1918.

As a result of a horse riding accident whilst the Governor and his two daughters were enjoying their regular afternoon riding excursion, his twenty year old daughter Phoebe sustained severe head injuries. Sadly, she died two days later and is buried at Karrakatta Cemetery.

Sir Francis Alexander Newdigate Newdegate KCMG
9 April 1920 to 16 June 1924

Sir Francis Newdigate Newdegate always said it was his wife who convinced him to take up the position of Governor of Western Australia.

Lady Newdegate visited Perth on her way to England from Tasmania where her husband was Governor, and had been entertained by Governor Ellison-Macartney. She described the place in glowing terms and when Sir Francis was offered the job, he said he “jumped at the chance” simply on his wife’s recommendation. Later, he was quoted as saying “neither of us ever regretted one minute of the time spent here”.

There was genuine regret when Governor Newdegate left Perth at the end of his term of office. Sir Francis said at the time that he was a “thorough believer in Western Australia” and knew well the difficulties the pioneers had to face. He thought it marvelous that so much had been achieved by a population of 330,000 in less than 100 years of settlement.

Colonel Sir William Robert Campion KCMG DSO
28 October 1924 to 8 June 1931

Sir William Campion was 54 years old when he became Western Australia’s Governor

 

He was born in England and educated at Eton and Oxford and then joined the London Stock Exchange. In 1894, he married Katherine Byron, the granddaughter of the 7th Lord Byron who inherited the title from his first cousin who was the famous romantic poet.

Sir William was knighted in 1924, and in June that year was appointed Western Australia’s Governor. The Campions were very popular in the role and his term of office was extended.

 

In 1927 Sir William welcomed the Duke and Duchess of York (the future King George Vl, the present Queen’s father) to Western Australia’s shores for a six day visit.

 

After his departure in 1931, Campion continued to promote Western Australia back in England for the rest of his life. He died in Sussex in 1951 at the age of 81.

 

Sir James Mitchell GCMG
5 October 1948 to 30 June 1951

Sir James Mitchell was the first Australian-born Governor of Western Australia. He was born in 1866 at Dardanup on Paradise Farm, near Bunbury, the son of a grazier.

In 1905 he resigned as a manager with the Western Australian Bank in Northam after being elected to the Legislative Assembly. He held a number of portfolios while in government including Agriculture, Lands, Industries, Railways and Water Supply. He was Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Lands and Repatriation from 1919 to 1924 and served a second term as Premier in 1930.

Sir James was subsequently appointed Lieutenant-Governor, a position he held for 14 years until 1948 when he was finally appointed Governor. Sir James actually served as Governor for 18 years because no Governor was appointed over him after his appointment as Lieutenant-Governor in 1933.

His final years at Government House were darkened by personal tragedy. His wife Clara died in 1949, and by his retirement on 30 June 1951 all but one of his children had predeceased him. Sadly, in the early hours of 26 July 1951, after having spent the day shooting with his son Roy near Donnybrook, he died in his sleep in the Vice Regal railway carriage.

Lieutenant General Sir Charles Henry Gairdner KCMG KCVO GBE CB
6 November 1951 to 26 June 1963

Sir Charles Gairdner was born in 1898 in Batavia, Java, now called Jakarta.

He joined the British Army in 1916 and from 1937 to 1940 he was the Commanding Officer of the 10th Royal Hussard. In the early 1940s he served with the 6th, 7th, and 8th Armoured Divisions and was Chief of General Staff with the 18th Army Group in 1943.

He was appointed Governor of Western Australia in 1951.

During his term of office he started a Government House cricket team, launched the Medical School Appeal for the Western Australia University, opened the Narrows Bridge in 1959 and hosted the Commonwealth Games in Perth in 1962.

The highlight of the Gairdner’s long term of office was the visit to Perth of the Queen and Prince Phillip in 1954, the first ever by a reigning monarch. This tour was originally scheduled for 1952, but had been delayed by King George VI’s death and Princess Elizabeth’s accession to the throne.

After 12 years in the job, he was appointed Governor of Tasmania, a position he held from 1963 to 1968.

Sir Charles died in 1983. The Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Nedlands was named in his honour.

Major General Sir Douglas Anthony Kendrew KCMG CB CBE DSO
25 October 1963 to 28 August 1973

Sir Douglas Kendrew was born in Devon in England in 1910.

Like many Governors in the history of the office in Western Australia, he also came from a military background. Sir Douglas became a Lieutenant with the Royal Leicestershire Regiment in 1931 and 10 years later was promoted to major.

Governor Kendrew’s ten year term of office coincided with a period of booming economic and demographic expansion in Perth and the state at large. While in the position, Sir Douglas was keen to promote Western Australia in the United Kingdom.

After his term as Governor in Western Australia, Sir Douglas moved back to the United Kingdom but his love of the State saw him return with Lady Kendrew on several private visits.

Sir Douglas died in 1989.

Air Commodore Sir Hughie Idwal Edwards VC KCMG CB DSO OBE DFC
7 January 1974 to 2 April 1975

Sir Hughie was born in Fremantle in 1914 and went to Fremantle Boys’ School.

At 20 years of age he joined the regular army and became a cadet in the RAAF in 1935. He transferred to the Royal Air Force in 1936. A genuine war hero, he was awarded the Victoria Cross, the second Australian and first officer so honoured.

The highly decorated officer had spent most of his professional life in Britain’s Air Force and in 1960 was selected as one of Queen Elizabeth’s Aides de Camp.

He was knighted in 1974 upon his appointment as Governor of Western Australia.

Sir Hughie retired from the post due to ill health in 1975 just weeks before the arrival of Princess Anne and her then husband Captain Mark Phillips.

Air Chief Marshal Sir Wallace Kyle GCB KCVO CBE DSO
24 November 1975 to 16 May 1980

Wallace Kyle was a Goldfields’ boy, born in Kalgoorlie in 1910. He came to Perth to study at Guildford Grammar School.

He attended the RAF College at Cranwell in the United Kingdom and joined the 17 Squadron RAF in 1930. He was a flying instructor from 1934 to 1939. From 1940 until 1945 he served in the Fleet Air Arm and in Bomber Command.

During that time he commanded 139 Squadron in which Hughie Edwards, his predecessor as Governor, also served. He succeeded Sir Hughie Edwards as Governor of Western Australia in 1975.

The public were encouraged to visit and access the Gardens at Government House and a permanent reminder of Governor and Lady Kyle’s time at Government House is the Lady Kyle Garden, established in 1979 to celebrate Western Australia’s 150th Anniversary.

Sir Wallace retired from his post in 1980 and returned to England where he died in 1988.

Rear Admiral Sir Richard Trowbridge KCVO
25 November 1980 to 24 November 1983

Richard Trowbridge was born on 21 January 1920 and was educated at Andover Grammar School in the United Kingdom.

At a very young age the future Sir Richard joined the Royal Navy as a Boy Seaman in 1935. He was the first officer to rise from Boy Seaman to Captain of the Queen’s yacht HMY Brittania. He had married Anne Mildred Perceval in 1955 and they had two sons.

He was appointed Governor in 1980 and was the last Briton to serve as Governor of Western Australia.

After retiring in 1983 he and Lady Trowbridge returned to the United Kingdom to live in Portsmouth. Sir Richard died on 4 May 2003.

Professor Gordon Stanley Reid PhD
2 July 1984 to 30 September 1989

Gordon Reid was born in 1923 and educated at Hurstville Technical School in Sydney, Canberra, University College and the London School of Economics.

As with the majority of Governors before him, Reid had been a military man as a Flight Officer with the Royal Australian Air Force. He commenced his civilian career as a reading clerk from 1946 to 1948, was an accountant and clerk of papers from 1948 to 1952.

He married Ruth Fish on 30 June 1945 and they had two sons and two daughters.

Reid then turned to academia where he became the senior lecturer in the public administration from 1958 to 1964 and a reader in politics at the University of Adelaide from 1964 to 1966. In 1971 he became professor to political science at the Australian National University, then the Vice Chancellor and Professor of Politics at the University of Western Australia between 1978 and 1982.

He was appointed Governor of Western Australia in 1984. He resigned from the post in 1989 due to illness and died shortly after.

Sir Francis Theodore Page Burt AC KCMG QC
19 March 1990 to 31 October 1993

Francis Burt was born in Perth in 1918 and educated at Guildford Grammar School. He later studied law at the University of Western Australia. Sir Francis Burt is a patrilineal descendant of Western Australia’s first Chief Justice, Sir Archibald Burt (1861 – 1879).

Following service in the second World War, Sir Francis, as a prominent Perth lawyer, founded the Bar in Western Australia in 1961 and, with others, he established the Bar Chambers in 1962. With his permission, these chambers have been named the Francis Burt Chambers in recognition of a great Western Australian and outstanding jurist.

He was married to Margaret Lloyd and they had two sons and two daughters.

Sir Francis held the offices of Judge of the Supreme Court of Western Australia between 1969 and 1977; Chief Justice of Western Australia between 1977 and 1988; Lieutenant Governor of Western Australia between 1977 and 1990; and Governor of Western Australia between 1990 and 1993.

Major General the Honourable Michael Jeffery AC AO (Mil) CVO MC (Retd)
1 November 1993 to 5 May 2000

Philip Michael Jeffery was born in the West Australian mining town of Wiluna in 1937.

He was educated at Cannington and East Victoria Park Primary Schools, Kent Street Senior High School and the Royal Military College in Duntroon.

He and his wife Marlena have three sons and a daughter.

He graduated into Infantry in 1958 and served operationally in Malaya, Borneo, Papua New Guinea and Vietnam, where he was awarded the Military Cross and the South Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. After command of all combat elements of the Army from platoon to division, including the Special Air Service Regiment, he retired in 1993 to assume the appointment of Governor of Western Australia.

General Jeffery was sworn in as the 24th Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia on 11 August 2003 and retired in 2008.

Lieutenant General the Honourable John Murray Sanderson AC
18 August 2000 to 31 October 2005

Lieutenant-General Sanderson was born in 1940 in Geraldton and later educated at Bunbury Senior High School in the State’s south west. He entered the Royal Military College, Duntroon in 1958 and graduated as a lieutenant into the Royal Australian Engineers in 1961.

He and his wife, Lorraine, have one son and two daughters.

In 1991, General Sanderson was seconded to the Secretary of the United Nations to complete planning for the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia.

His nearly four decades of dedicated service culminated in his appointment to the pinnacle of Australian Military service as Chief of the Army in 1995.

He had been retired for two years and was living in Canberra when he was approached to become Western Australia’s Governor. He was sworn in as the States 29th Governor in August, 2000.

The Honourable Dr Kenneth Comninos Michael AC
18 January 2006 to 2 May 2011

Dr Ken Michael is Western Australia’s first Governor from Greek heritage. Born in Perth in 1938, he is the son of migrants from the island of Castellorizo in Greece.

He attended Highgate Primary School. Only eight years old when his father passed away, he was fortunate to have support from his family, Perth Legacy and the then Department of Repatriation (now Veterans Affairs) which gave him the opportunity to pursue his education.

He studied at Perth Boys High School and Perth Modern School before embarking on his educational pursuits at the University of Western Australia. He undertook postgraduate studies at the Imperial College of Science and Technology in London under a scholarship and was awarded a PhD degree in engineering from the University of London in 1968.

He and his wife Julie have two children, a son and a daughter.

His career as a bridge design engineer with the Main Roads Department spanned 30 years and in 1991 he was appointed Commissioner of Main Roads, a position he held for over six years.

He was appointed Chancellor of the University of Western Australia in April 2001 and retired from that appointment in December 2005.

Dr Ken Michael AC is a distinguished engineer in his own right, but is better known for his tireless and respected contribution to many aspects of government, business and community activity within Western Australia.

The Honourable Malcolm James McCusker
AC CVO QC
1 July 2011 to 30 June 2014

Governor McCusker was sworn in as the 31st Governor of Western Australia on 1 July 2011. Born in North Perth, he was educated at North Perth and Lenah Valley Primary Schools, Hobart High School and Perth Modern School.

He graduated with a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Western Australia and was admitted to practice in 1961. Appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1982, Mr McCusker is well known for his successful representation of wrongfully convicted persons in a number of high profile cases.

In 2011, His Excellency and Mrs Tonya McCusker hosted Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh during the Royal Visit in conjunction with the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM 2011).

An outstanding philanthropist, Governor McCusker is Chairman of the McCusker Charitable Foundation which distributes substantial funds each year to worthy charitable causes.