Australian Historical Art Fund & Heritage Government Residences

Governors-General

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

Australia's 26th Governor-General is His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd) and his wife is Her Excellency Lady Cosgrove.

The office of the Governor-General was establised by the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901. The Constitution describes the Governor-General as The Queen's representative. The Queen appoints the Governor-General on the advice of The Prime Minister and under the provisions of the Letters Patent relating to the office. The Governor-General is non-political and quite distinct from that of the head of government. The Governor-General fulfills many important roles - constitutional and governmental, community relations, defence and ceremonial.

Since the beginning of The Australiana Fund, the Governor-General's residences have received many items of Australiana acquired by the Fund, with appreciation expressed by Governors-General and their families.

"In a very real sense, the four official residences are in the public domain. To them come people from overseas and from this country. It is fitting that they should be appropriately furnished and adorned so that those who come to them can have a sense that they are living and lived in treasures of Australian art and history. It seems to me, as the present incumbent of two of these houses, that this is a worthy object and I hope it will command strong support."

Sir Zelman Cowan, Governor-General, 1978.

As well as items of Australiana, the Fund collects memorabilia related to Governors-General. For example, the Portraits of Lord and Lady Northcote at Admiralty House. Items relating both to the houses and to the previous incumbents are high priorities in the Fund's collection programme


The Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO  2008 - 2014

Major General Philip Michael Jeffery AC CVO MC  2003 - 2008

The Right Reverend Archbishop Peter Hollingworth AC OBE  2001 - 2003

The Honourable Sir William Patrick Deane AC KBE KStJ QC  1996 - 2001

The Honourable William George Hayden AC KStJ  1989 - 1996

The Right Honourable Sir Ninian Martin Stephen PC KG AK GCMG CGVO KBE QC  1982 - 1989

The Right Honourable Sir Zelman Cowen AK GCMG GCVO QC PC DCL DUniv  1977 – 1982

The Right Honourable Sir John Robert Kerr KCMG LStJ PC AK GCMG GCVO   1974 - 1977

The Right Honourable Sir Paul Hasluck KG GCMG GCVO KStJ  1969 - 1974

The Right Honourable The Lord Richard Gardiner Casey KG GCMG CH DSO MC KStJ PC  1965 - 1969

The Right Honourable The Viscount De L'Isle VC KG GCMG GCVO KStJ PC  1961 - 1965

The Right Honourable The Viscount Dunrossil GCMG MC KStJ PC QC  1960 – 1961

Field Marshal The Right Honourable The Viscount Slim KG GCB GCMG GCVO GBE DSO MC KStJ  

1953 – 1960

The Right Honourable Sir William John McKell GCMG  1947 – 1953

Prince Henry William Frederick Albert, Duke of Gloucester, Earl of Ulster and Baron Culloden KG KT KP GCB GCMG GCVO GCStJ  1945 – 1947

The Right Honourable Brigadier General Alexander Hore-Ruthven, The Earl of Gowrie VC GCMG CB DSO & Bar PC  1936 – 1945

The Right Honourable Sir Isaac Alfred Isaacs GCB GCMG KC  1931 – 1936

The Right Honourable John Lawrence Baird, The Viscount Stonehaven GCMG DSO PC JP DL  1925 – 1931

The Right Honourable Henry William Forster, The Lord Forster GCMG PC DL  1920 – 1925

The Right Honourable Ronald Craufurd Munro Ferguson, The Viscount Novar KT GCMG PC  1914 – 1920

The Right Honourable Thomas Denman, The Lord Denman GCMG KCVO PC  1911 – 1914

The Right Honourable William Humble Ward, The Earl of Dudley KP GCB GCMG GCVO KStJ PC TD DL  1908 – 1911

The Right Honourable Henry Stafford Northcote, The Lord Northcote GCMG, GCIE, CB, PC  1904 – 1908

The Right Honourable Hallam Tennyson, The Lord Tennyson GCMG PC  1903 – 1904

The Most Honourable John Adrian Louis Hope, The Marquess of Linlithgow KT GCMG GCVO PC   

1901 – 1903