Role of the Governor

Queensland’s first Governor was appointed in 1859 when Queensland was separated from New South Wales as a self-governing colony. At the time, Queensland did not have a substantive government, so Governor George Bowen ruled alongside Colonial Secretary, R. G. W. Herbert, who later became Queensland’s first Premier in 1860. 

In modern day Queensland, while the Governor does not participate in the political process, the Governor acts upon the advice given by members of Executive Council. He or she performs a number of important duties that ensures Queensland enjoys a stable Parliament and political process.  

Constitutional and Legal 

  • In accordance with the Constitution of Queensland 2001, the Governor’s key constitutional and legal duties include:
  • Presiding over meetings of the Executive Council
  • Providing the approval required within the constitution to give legal effect to many of the decisions and actions of Government
  • Summoning, proroguing and dissolving Parliament on the advice of the Premier
  • Giving Royal Assent to Bills passed by the Parliament
  • Appointing all Ministers of the Crown and appointing and removing officials, on the advice of the Executive Council
  • Issuing writs for Queensland State Elections and for the election of Queensland representatives in the Australian Senate, on the advice of the Executive Council
  • In the name of The Queen, granting a pardon or commutation of sentence or reprieve of the carrying out of a sentence to an offender, or the remission of a fine or penalty.


The Governor officiates at a range of important ceremonial and celebratory occasions and commemorations. A selection of the Governor’s important ceremonial duties include:

  • Officiating at Parliamentary events such as the opening of Parliament
  • Representation at military parades, remembrance ceremonies and special occasions of state and national significance
  • Hosting a series of investiture ceremonies at Government House to confer Queensland awards and honours.


The Governor supports many organisations and programs across the State through a program of community engagement. The Governor’s duties include:

  • An extensive program of travel throughout the State to major centres and regional and remote communities
  • Using a platform for advocacy to provide patronage to a diverse range of Queensland groups through a program of community engagement
  • A wide-ranging program of activity such as visits, speeches, receptions, and celebrations of many milestones and anniversaries throughout the State.
The Governor has important constitutional duties
Ceremonial duties
Community duties