Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews today announced that long-serving Family Court Judge and AFL Commissioner, The Hon Linda Dessau AM, will be appointed the 29th Governor of Victoria.
The term of the current Governor, His Excellency The Hon Alex Chernov AC QC, will expire on June 30, 2015. Ms Dessau, a fellow jurist, will continue Governor Chernov’s record of decent and honourable service from July 1, 2015.
Ms Dessau served as a Judge of the Family Court from 1995 to 2013. During her time on the Family Court, she notably chaired national projects relating to family violence and child abuse.
Prior to her appointment to the Family Court, she was a magistrate in the Children’s Court, Coroner’s Court and the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court, a barrister at the Victorian Bar, and Senior Crown Counsel in Hong Kong.
In 2010, Ms Dessau was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for her service to the judiciary and the community, 36 years after graduating with honours in law from the University of Melbourne.
Ms Dessau has had a long and influential involvement with Australia’s greatest game, serving as an AFL Commissioner since 2008. She was the inaugural chair of the Essendon Football Club Women’s Network.
A Chair and Board Member of the Melbourne Festival and a Trustee of the National Gallery of Victoria, Ms Dessau has helped make our state Australia’s cultural capital.
She was a Patron of the Epilepsy Foundation and food recycling charity One Umbrella, and has been involved in many other charitable and community service organisations, such as Turning Point Drug and Alcohol Centre.
Unique among Australian jurisdictions, Victoria has never had a female Vice-Regal representative. South Australia’s Dame Roma Mitchell became the first female Governor of an Australian state in 1991.
Quotes attributable to Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews
“As an honest voice of change, Ms Dessau helped bring Australian family law and the Australian Football League into the new century.”
“From the sporting and cultural icons that make our state liveable, to important family law work that keeps women and children safe, Ms Dessau has helped shape Victoria for the better.”
“I was proud to recommend her appointment to Her Majesty and Victorians will be proud to call her their Governor.”
“On behalf of every Victorian, I thank Governor Chernov for his decent, honourable and determined service to the great institutions of our state.”