Role of the Governor

The Governor is appointed by the King on the advice of the Premier. The Governor acts on the advice of the Premier, Ministers and Executive Council.

The Governor’s role is broad and includes:

  • Constitutional responsibilities
  • Ceremonial duties
  • Community engagement
  • Advocacy on behalf of the State

The constitutional laws of Western Australia provide for a Governor to represent the Sovereign as the Head of State. Each Australian state has a Governor, with a Governor-General overseeing the Commonwealth of Australia.

Although the Governor is appointed by the King, as his representative, the Governor is no longer subject to the control, supervision or veto of the Sovereign or the United Kingdom Government, since the Australia Acts were passed in 1986 by the Commonwealth Parliament and the Parliament of the United Kingdom, at the request of all State Parliaments. The Governor may however be dismissed only by the Sovereign on the advice of the Premier.

The Governor’s role is apolitical and includes important constitutional, ceremonial, representational and community functions. The Governor advocates for the State’s strategic interests and capabilities.


The Governor protects The Constitution, and presides over Executive Council, the supreme decision making body of the State Government which usually meets fortnightly.

All Bills passed by the Western Australian parliaments must be signed by the Governor before they become law.

Any vote, resolution or Bill requiring the spending of public money cannot be passed by the Western Australian Parliament unless the Governor recommends its approval to the Legislative Assembly. In these matters the Governor will act on the advice of the Premier of the State of Western Australia.

The Governor appoints the President of the Legislative Council and all State Government Ministers and officially opens State Parliament. The Governor also appoints judges, magistrates and justices of the peace.

The Honourable Justice Jennifer Hill
ANZAC Day service at Kings Park

Ceremonial and celebratory occasions

The Governor officiates at important ceremonial and celebratory occasions including Anzac Day ceremonies, military parades and other special occasions of State and national significance. The Governor also hosts a series of investiture ceremonies at Government House to confer West Australian awards and honours.


The Governor is the Head of State of Western Australia and represents the people of Western Australia in welcoming visiting Heads of State, royalty, ambassadors, spiritual leaders, members of the consular corps of Western Australia, and members of the general public who serve the State.

King Charles III receives the Governor of Western Australia, Chris Dawson, during an audience at Buckingham Palace, London. Picture date: Wednesday March 8, 2023.
The Governor speaks with students about their experiences at the school.

Community engagement

A focus of the Governor is to work to bring groups of West Australians together to support our community and help advance the State’s capabilities.

The Governor is patron of many worthy organisations in Western Australia and supports them in pursuit of their objectives through visits, attendance at functions and hospitality.

The Governor’s community engagement also includes the extensive use of Government House and gardens for the benefit of the community.


The Governor has a key role in engaging with a diverse range of people and organisations both within and outside of Western Australia with the aim of promoting the strategic interests and capabilities of the State. To this end the Governor regularly engages with visiting international dignitaries, diplomats and members of the business, mining, agricultural, medical, scientific, arts and community service sectors.

The US Consul General, having served for many years in Morocco, exchanges pleasantries with the Ambassador of Morocco.
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