Governor Linda Dessau

July 5, 2015 by Henry Benjamin
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Linda Dessau has been sworn in as Governor of the State of Victoria…the first woman and the first Jewish Australian to be accorded this highly significant and important role.

She has become the State’s 29th governor since the first was appointed 160 years ago.

Governor Dessau takes the affirmation

Governor Dessau takes the affirmation

At the ceremony held at Victoria’s Government House, State Premier Daniel Andrews said: “The inauguration of any new Governor is a very important event. The critical role in our parliamentary democracy that this office plays and holds is well-know to all of us. But to be here today to celebrate the first female governor in our State’s history is all the more special.”

Premier Andrews spoke of the Governor-designate saying: “To the law, to arts and culture, to our love of sport Linda Dessau has done so much to make our city and our State modern, livable, multicultural edgy she is very much a Melbourne and Victorian person.”

Premier Daniel Andrews signs

Premier Daniel Andrews signs

He said that Victoria is leading the nation  in taking action against family violence stating: “Linda Dessau was leading her profession in the 1990s bringing a much greater public awareness  and  public policy focus to this tragedy, this national emergency.  Her leadership has helped perhaps saved the lives of many.”

He said that Linda Dessau holds her city and her State “in her heart” adding “Victorians will be proud to call her their Governor.”

Governor Linda Dessau signs

Governor Linda Dessau signs

Rolling taking the affirmation of allegiance and office, the new Governor began her address by stating the she is different “to the other 28 governors who have gone before me”. She said she was honoured to  have become the first woman to hold the office of Governor.

Governor Dessau said: “Despite how obvious our differences may seem to be, generally there is much more that unites us than divides us. My gender may be different from the 28 governors who have preceded me, my religious back ground as well. I suspect I am even noticeably smaller than many.

Victorian Governor Linda Dessay

Victorian Governor Linda Dessau

These differences could set me apart. But the differences are in fact insignificant when compared to that which history tells me we all have in common. I doubt that any incoming Governor has differed from me in the sense of humility he has felt at his appointment, the sense of commitment he has felt to Victoria and all Victorians and the ambition he has held to contribute in any way possible to a stable, democratic and prosperous State and a united, peaceful, respectful and caring community.”

Governor Dessau reiterated that she wanted to be “a Governor of our  times” adding that we should be “pursuing cohesion and mutual respect among us all.”

Jennifer Huppert, President of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) welcomed the induction of the Honourable Linda Dessau AM as the new Governor of Victoria.

“The Jewish community is delighted that Victoria has its first female Governor and first Jewish Governor.  This is two major milestones in one for the State, and is a very deserving achievement for Her Excellency who has an outstanding career of service and contribution in the law, arts and the community.”

“I expect that our new Governor will be a great leader in the areas of family violence and social cohesion, at a time when these two issues are probably the greatest challenges concerning Victoria.”

President of the Zionist Council of Victoria Sam Tatarka warmly welcomed the induction of Victoria’s new Governor Linda Dessau, saying: “It’s a matter of great pride for the community that Victoria’s first female governor is Jewish and comes with such a distinguished record of public service to the Judiciary and the Arts.”

He added: “We are sure that Governor Dessau will acquit herself as the Governor for all Victorians in an exemplary manner.”

Dvir Abramovich, Chairman of the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission, added: “We are delighted and justifiably proud.  With this outstanding appointment, Premier Daniel Andrews has broken new ground and for this he deserves much praise. This appointment is a true testament to the values of opportunity, inclusiveness and multiculturalism that are a  hallmark of our fine state, and confirms that no matter what your background is, you  can  still achieve high office in Australia. I am confident that Governor Dessau, with an exemplary and proven judicial track record, intellectual fortitude and a strong commitment to civil rights and culture, will serve the Victorian people with great distinction and will inspire generations of young people for many years to come. ”

Governor Linda Dessau was a Family Court judge in Victoria for 18 years.


Watch the inauguration


Pictures and video:  DPC Multimedia




2 Responses to “Governor Linda Dessau”
  1. Kathleen Whelan says:

    Having recently been awarded an OAM, in the Queens Birthday Honours 2015, I will have the honour of meeting our new Governor later in the year.

  2. harry rich says:

    It is a heartwarming event to have a Jewish lady as Governor of the State
    of Victoria. With antisemitism on the increase the world over, to have a Jewish person holding such a high position should make it clear that our
    Government does not follow this trend.

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