Here is the link to this video from BTN: http://www.abc.net.au/btn/story/s3934588.htm
So, if I asked you who the most powerful person in Australia was, what would be your first answer? Well, most would say the prime minister. But there is actually someone else who has more power than him, someone who could actually fire the prime minister! Well, this person is the Governor General and their spot is up for grabs! Last week we were told we were getting a new one, here’s more on this role.
In jobs, there are ups and downs. It could be loads of fun, but hard work. It could be with friends, but enemies as well. In this job, there are a lot of ups and downs but let’s just start with the ups…
- You get your own VIP jet to fly around in.
- You get a mansion to live in
- An amazing holiday house for the weekends where you just want to get away.
- A lot of money (salary).
- A fleet of cars to get around when you need to.
6. YOU GET TO FIRE THE PRIME MINISTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (If necessary)
So it sounds like the dream, but this job is actually real! It is called the Governor General of Australia, and believe it or not, we’ve only had 1 woman for the job! She is called Quentin Bryce and she’s was the first ever female Governor General for Australia! (That was accomplished when she got the job in 2008.)
But our Governor General is General Peter Cosgrove. He’s called General because he was in the Australian Defense Force for a while and at one point, became the chief! He’s also known for leading international forces in East Timor, making the country independent in 1999. He also led the clean up after Cyclone Larry hit in 2006, and which he was retired. He has done many other things amongst the years and has been keeping himself busy.
But really, what is a governor general and what does this guy have to do?
Well, Australia is a monarchy (as we are ruled by the queen) but our leader lives in England. So, she needs someone to represent her in parliament, otherwise known as the Governor General. They don’t have a big say in how our country is run, but they have a big responsibility to make sure it’s all done the right way.
Some of the things they have to do is:
- Approve new laws
- Officially appoint new judges and officials
And other things…
They also can fire the prime minister if they have a really good reason. It’s very uncommon of them to do so, because it would cause a lot of drama. But it has happened before, but the last time it was done was a long time ago. In 1975, John Kerr (The Governor General) fired the former prime minister, Gough Whitlam. It caused a lot of drama, so the job is a very serious matter.
But that’s not all they do in this job! They have to go to events all around the country, and they have to go overseas to represent Australia! They also have to take part in community gatherings and they have to meet A LOT of people. And the last Governor General who was Quentin Bryce (2015), went to more than one function every day! So it might seem like fun at the start, but it’s a lot of hard work in the end.
My understanding is that if you became the Governor General, you would have to be very passionate about the job, very hard working to get everything done, and be a very welcoming people’s person!
2 Questions I have are:
- Is there a symbol for this role like there is for the House of Representatives?
- Who was the first governor general?
- Unfortunately the Governor General don’t have a symbol in Australia.
But in Canada there’s this one:
And the Symbol for the House of Representatives is actually for the U.S. Here’s it:
- The first Governor General for Australia was John Adrian Louis Hope, 7th Earl of Hopetoun who was appointed on the 1st of January, 1901. He was the Governor General for 2 years and 8 days and is the youngest governor general that we have ever had! He started the role at 40, but ended up later dying at 47. In Australia, he is remembered as Lord Hopetoun.