Governors-General

Australia's first Governor-General was the Earl of Hopetoun. There were five other appointments in the first two decades, none Australian. Lord Hopetoun was popular though prone to political blunders. It is said that his worst mistake was in failing to appreciate how low was an Australian's threshold of tolerance for vice-regal expenditure. The most successful of the early Governors-General were Lord Northcote (1904-1908) and Sir Ronald Munro-Ferguson (1914-20). Both men had been members of the House of Commons, had a good grasp of politics and a clear understanding of their role in Australia.

REL01092 Governor-General's hat and sword. These belonged to Sir Ronald Craufurd Munro-Ferguson, Governor-General during the First World War. A privileged Scottish gentleman, a former officer of the Grenadier Guards and an experienced politician, he was handsome, energetic and astute. He and his wife, Lady Helen, worked hard to ensure Australia's full commitment to the war effort. REL01092

Cartoon The discomfiture of a Governor-General from The Bulletin 26 July 1902, pg 1. By permission of National Library of Australia.