Monday, April 14, 2008

Australia's First Female Governor-General

Yesterday, another first for Australia and Australian women, as Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced that Queensland Governor, Quentin Bryce, will become our next Governor-General. Why such fanfare - Ms Bryce is the first woman in the 107 year history of the vice-regal position, to be appointed to such heights.

A bit about Ms Bryce and her appointment from Misha Schubert's article in today's "The Age" newspaper:
"THE woman chosen to become Australia's first female governor-general — ending a 107-year male stranglehold on the vice-regal post — hopes her rise from humble origins in a little bush town will serve as an inspiration for other women and girls. Former sex discrimination commissioner Quentin Bryce, whose appointment yesterday was hailed by feminists and senior political figures as a watershed, said the breakthrough was a great moment for the nation's women.

Ms Bryce, 65, was raised in the outback Queensland town of Ilfracombe and is married with five children and five grandchildren. A former lawyer, her past roles include inaugural director of Queensland's Women's Information Service, founding chairwoman of the National Childcare Accreditation Council and principal of the University of Sydney's Women's College."

The Position of Governor-General:
As Australia is still part of the British Commonwealth - yet to gain our independence - the position of Governor-General is one of leadership. The Governor-General is the Queen of England's representative here is Australia, acting on her behalf. Technically, the appointment must be approved by the Queen - however, the Queen usually accepts the advice of the Prime Minister. The length of service is normally five years.

Governor-General - Parliament of Australia website
Polished Trailblazer - Damien Murphy
The First & Last Post - Gerald McManus, Herald Sun
Woman of Substance - Ben Packham, Herald Sun
You Can Do Anything: G-G - Herald Sun newspaper

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