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The Governor is appointed by the Sovereign and is his representative in New South Wales. 

The role of Governor has changed greatly over the years. The Governor today has an important constitutional, ceremonial and community role in New South Wales.  In respect of constitutional matters, the Governor acts on the advice of his/her Ministers

Constitutional Role

The Governor’s constitutional role includes:

  • Appointing Premier and Ministry from the party with majority political support in the Legislative Assembly to form a Government (normally after an election)
  • Presiding over the Executive Council
  • Determining dates of Parliamentary sessions and elections
  • Assenting to Bills passed by Parliament, making them laws
  • Proclaiming Regulations made under Acts of Parliament
  • Acting on the advice of Government but exercising reserve powers where constitutional conventions allow. 

The Governor’s primary task is to perform the Sovereign’s constitutional duties on their behalf, acting within the principles of parliamentary democracy and responsible government as a symbol of stable government and nonpartisan safeguard against the abuse of power. The Governor represents NSW at special occasions like ceremonies or visits by foreign Heads of State.

The supreme executive authority in NSW is the Executive Council, consisting of the Ministers, presided over by the Governor. This is the formal, official arm of the Government, which gives legal authority to proclamations, regulations, appointments to the public service, judiciary, and other public positions such as officers of the Parliament, and commissions for officers of the Police Force.

Ceremonial role

The Governor holds Investiture Ceremonies involving presentation of honours and awards at Government House twice a year. The recipients are principally being invested in the Order of Australia; however there are also a number of service and bravery awards. Her Excellency receives courtesy calls from Heads of State, Royalty, Spiritual Leaders, Ambassadors and Foreign Ministers, as well as incoming and outgoing members of the Consular Corps.

Community role

The Governor is Patron to numerous organisations. Mr Dennis Wilson is Co-Patron of some of these organisations and may be Patron of organisations in his own right.  The Governor also receives calls from organisations of which she is Patron, and other special interest groups. The Governor hosts many events at Government House to support community organisations.

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