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Monday 13 April 2020

Queensland’s inaugural Vice-Regal Dog, Gavel the German Shepherd, today celebrates four years at the official residence of the Queensland Governor, His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC.

The Governor is Her Majesty The Queen’s representative in the Australian State of Queensland.

Gavel the German Shepherd arrived at Government House, in the Queensland capital of Brisbane, on 13 April 2016 as a six-week old puppy.

He was meant to be there for 12 months, preparing to become a member of the elite Queensland Police Service Dog Squad.

Gavel, however, preferred pats to patrols, and was partial to the occasional “non-approved” treat. His report card came back: over-socialised Gavel “did not display the necessary aptitude for a life on the front line".

In February 2017, an official position was created at Government House for which Gavel was ideally suited: Queensland’s Vice-Regal Dog.

His primary duties, which he continues to fulfil, include greeting members of the public who visit Government House in their thousands, leading tours and attending formal ceremonies.

He has an official uniform – a ceremonial coat, four of which he has outgrown over the years – which bears the of the State of Queensland he so proudly serves, including the Crown, the brolga (Queensland’s bird emblem), and the Queensland Badge.  

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 disruption, Gavel, Vice-Regal Dog will not celebrate his four-year anniversary with pats from the public. He will, however, receive a small treat, while practicing social distancing.