News People David Hurley sworn in as new Governor-General
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David Hurley sworn in as new Governor-General

governor general david hurley
New Governor-General David Hurley and PM Scott Morrison during Monday's swearing-in. Photo: AAP
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First he was a general, then a governor, and late on Monday morning, he became Governor-General.

Former NSW governor David Hurley arrived at Parliament House in Canberra on Monday to be sworn in as Australia’s vice-regal representative.

The former defence force chief assumes the post after the end of Sir Peter Cosgrove’s five-year commission.

Mr Hurley became the NSW governor in 2014 after 42 years of service in the Australian Army, the last three as chief of the defence force.

Mr Hurley, accompanied by wife Linda, first received the general salute in the Parliament forecourt.

Then, accompanied by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, he and Mrs Hurley headed for the Senate chamber. There, Australia’s Chief Justice Susan Kiefel swore in the 27th governor-general, reading and signing the oaths of allegiance and office.

Mr Morrison and the new Governor-General signed the proclamation to complete the ceremony.

In the Members’ Hall, the national anthem and a welcome to country ceremony were followed by speeches from Mr Morrison, Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese and Mr Hurley.

Mr Hurley received a royal salute after being farewelled from Parliament by Mr Morrison and wife Jenny, while the PM was given a general salute.

david hurley governor general
The Australian Federation Guard outside Parliament House for the ceremony. Photo: AAP

Earlier in the year, Mr Hurley used an Australia Day speech to call for indigenous languages to be taught more widely in schools.

In December, he urged people to look beyond his military background after criticism that three of the last four appointments of governor-general have been retired army generals.

Mr Morrison gave some insight into his choice after appointing him late last year.

“General Hurley is known for looking people straight in the eye. Not up and not down. He was that way with those he led in the military and he’s been that way as a governor and throughout his life,” Mr Morrison said in December.

“Looking eye-to-eye, face-to-face, understanding people’s challenges and issues one-on-one, in a very direct and very humble and a very humane way.”

Facing questions about why he did not consider a woman to fill the role, Mr Morrison said Mr Hurley’s selection was a “package deal” with his wife of more than 40 years.

The Governor-General is appointed by the Queen in Commonwealth countries, on the advice of the Prime Minister, as the representative of the Crown.

Mr Hurley was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his leadership during Operation SOLACE in Somalia in 1993.

He was also appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2010 for eminent service to the army.

For Sir Peter, Monday’s ceremony brought a formal end to his term as Governor-General. In June, at a gathering at Parliament House, he told The Australian he would watch his successor being sworn in from Admiralty House in Sydney.

“The moment David is sworn in we will have a few tears and a round of applause and quietly walk up to the main gate of Admiralty House and begin our retirement,” he said.

“It’s been five wonderful years and to me emblematic of the honour and privilege we’ve both enjoyed by being in this position.”

Mr Hurley intends to use his tenure to highlight the strength of Australians and their concern for the common good.

“We can be informed by many sources of the ills of our society; it is important that we are reminded of its goodness,” he told the Senate chamber.

Mr Hurley also drew on a quote by Australian author David Malouf that is etched on a glass plaque at Sydney’s Circular Quay.

Malouf, he noted, is representative of the diversity of Australia, having a Lebanese father and British mother of Portuguese decent.

“Australia is still revealing itself to us. We oughtn’t to close off possibilities by declaring too early what we have already become,” the plaque reads.

“Australia is not a finished product,” Mr Hurley stressed.

Mr Hurley became the NSW governor in 2014 after 42 years of service in the Australian Army, the last three of which he spent as chief of the defence force.

Accompanied by his wife Linda, Mr Hurley received the general salute in the Parliament forecourt.

In the Senate chamber, Australia’s Chief Justice Susan Kiefel swore in the 27th governor-general, reading and signing the oaths of allegiance and office.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Mr Hurley then signed the proclamation to complete the ceremony.

The Governor-General opened his acceptance speech with an acknowledgement of country in Ngunnawal language, after calling for indigenous languages to be taught more widely in schools in an Australia Day speech.

In December, he urged people to look beyond his military background after criticism that three of the last four appointments of governor-general have been retired army generals.

Mr Morrison gave some insight into his choice after appointing him late last year.

“General Hurley is known for looking people straight in the eye. Not up and not down. He was that way with those he led in the military and he’s been that way as a governor and throughout his life,” Mr Morrison said in December.

“Looking eye-to-eye, face-to-face, understanding people’s challenges and issues one-on-one, in a very direct and very humble and a very humane way.”

Facing questions about why he did not consider a woman to fill the role, Mr Morrison said Mr Hurley’s selection was a “package deal” with his wife of more than 40 years.

The Governor-General is appointed by the Queen in Commonwealth countries, on the advice of the prime minister, to be the representative of the Crown.

Mr Hurley was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his leadership during Operation SOLACE in Somalia in 1993 and was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2010 for eminent service to the army.

In the Members’ Hall, the national anthem and a welcome to country ceremony will be followed by speeches from Mr Morrison, Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese and Mr Hurley.

Mr Hurley will receive a royal salute after being farewelled from Parliament.

-with AAP