Governors of Queensland

On 10 December 1859 Letters Patent issued by Queen Victoria were read to an elated audience, proclaiming Queensland to be a new colony, separate from New South Wales. From that day forward, Queenslanders were in charge of their own affairs.

Queen Victoria assented to the creation of a new and separate colony to be called Queen’s Land on 6 June 1859, a day that continues to be celebrated as Queensland Day.

A history bound by principle

The Governor of Queensland is the symbolic head of Queensland and represents centuries of constitutional tradition. Since 1859, Queensland Governors have upheld a fundamental principle—that all people of all parties and all walks of life belong to the same community, a parliamentary democracy where government is conducted according to law. The highest purpose of Governors is to see to that. 

The Honourable Sir Walter Benjamin Campbell AC QC

The Honourable Sir Walter Benjamin Campbell AC QC

22.07.1985 - 29.07.1992

Sir Walter was born in New South Wales and educated at Downlands College in Toowoomba. He joined the Royal Australian Airforce in 1941, completed his arts degree and subsequent law degree from the University of Queensland and was admitted as a barrister in 1948. Appointed as the Queen's Counsel in 1960, Sir Walter became a judge of the Queensland Supreme Court in 1967 and was knighted for distinguished service to the law, government and education in 1979. He served as Chief Justice for a period of three years before being appointed Governor of Queensland in 1985.

The Honourable Ms Mary Marguerite Leneen Forde AC

The Honourable Leneen Forde AC

29.07.1992 - 29.07.1997

Mrs Forde was born in Canada, coming to Australia in 1954. Mrs Forde studied for her law degree whilst juggling the care of her five children, and pursued her law career, helping to establish the Queensland Women Lawyers Association. Named Queenslander of the Year in 1991 for her work in advancing the social and economic welfare of Queenslanders, and in particular her contribution to the advancement of women, Mrs Forde was appointed as Queensland's first woman Governor and the first Governor to be appointed by the Queen on the advice of the Queensland Government.

Major General The Honourable Peter Maurice Arnison AC CVO retd

Major General the Honourable Peter Arnison AC CVO

29.07.1997 - 29.07.2003

Major General Peter Arnison was born in Lismore, New South Wales and attended the Royal Military College, Duntroon, graduating in 1962.  He served in a variety of command appointments including two operational tours of duty in Infantry Battalions in South Vietnam during 1965-1966 and in 1971.  He retired from the Australian Army in 1996 following service as Commander 3rd Brigade, Commander 1st Division and as Land Commander, Australia.  He  is a graduate of the University of Queensland (BEcon, 1976) and the Royal College of Defence Studies, United Kingdom (1989).  He was appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia in 1992 for service to the Australian Army, a Companion in the Order of Australia in 2001 and a Commander in the Royal Victorian Order, by Her Majesty The Queen, in 2002.

The Honourable Dame Quentin Alice Louise Bryce AD CVO

The Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO

29.07.2003 - 29.07.2008

Ms Bryce was born in Brisbane.  She completed her Bachelor of Arts (1962) and Law degree (1965) at the University of Queensland, becoming one of the first women accepted to the Queensland bar. In 1968 she became the first woman to be a faculty member of the law school. In 1978 she joined the new National Women's Advisory Council, then became the first director of the Queensland Women's Information Service, the Queensland Director of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission and the Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner in 1988. She was appointed Officer of the Order of Australia in 1988, a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2003 and as a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in October 2011 by Her Majesty The Queen, being appointed as Governor of Queensland in 2003. On 5 September 2008 Ms Bryce became the first woman Governor-General of Australia.

The Honourable Ms Penelope Anne Wensley AC

The Honourable Penelope Wensley AC

29.07.2008 to 29.07.2014

Penelope Wensley was born in Toowoomba and completed a Bachelor of Arts degree with First Class Honours at the University of Queensland in 1967. In 1968, Ms Wensley joined the Australian Foreign service and pursued a highly distinguished career as a diplomat, representing Australia in a wide range of overseas posts and senior policy positions until 2008, when she  became  Queensland's twenty-fifth Governor. Among her prestigious diplomatic appointments, she served as Australia's Ambassador to the United Nations for seven years, in both Geneva and New York, as Ambassador for the Environment, High Commissioner to India and Ambassador to France. She has been awarded honorary Doctorates by The University of Queensland, Griffith University and the Queensland University of Technology. In 1994, The University of Queensland named her as the first woman Alumnus of the year. In 2001, Penelope was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), for her distinguished contributions to Australia's international relations. On Australia Day 2011 she was appointed a Companion (AC) in the General Division of the Order of Australia "For eminent contribution to the people of Queensland, and to Australia's international relations through senior diplomatic representational roles and as a key contributor to initiatives of the United Nations".

The Honourable Paul de Jersey AC

His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC CVO

29.07.2014 to present

Click here to read the current Governor's biography.