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United Nations



His Excellency General

the Honourable

David Hurley AC DSC (Retd)

Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia

His Excellency General the Honourable David John Hurley AC DSC (Retd) was sworn in as the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia on 1 July 2019.

David Hurley joined the Australian Army in January 1972, graduating from the Royal Military College, Duntroon into the Royal Australian Infantry Corps. In a long and distinguished 42-year military career, his service culminated with his appointment as Chief of the Defence Force.

He commanded the 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment during Operation SOLACE in Somalia in 1993, receiving the Distinguished Service Cross. Following promotion to Colonel, he was appointed Chief of Staff, Headquarters 1st Division in June 1994, attending the U.S. Army War College in 1996 and 1997. He commanded the 1st Brigade from 1999-2000 in Darwin, supporting Australian-led operations in East Timor. He was appointed the inaugural Chief of Capability Development Group from 2003-07, Chief of Joint Operations Command in October 2007, and Vice Chief of the Defence Force in July 2008. Promoted to General, he succeeded Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston as Chief of the Defence Force on 4 July 2011 until his retirement on 30 June 2014. In 2010, he was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia for eminent service to the Australian Defence Force.

Prior to being sworn in as Governor-General, David Hurley served as the 38th Governor of New South Wales from October 2014 – May 2019.

David Hurley was born in Wollongong, New South Wales on 26 August 1953, the son of Norma and James Hurley. His father was an Illawarra steelworker and his mother worked in a grocery store. He grew up in Port Kembla and attended Port Kembla High School where he completed his Higher School Certificate in 1971. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and Graduate Diploma in Defence Studies from the Royal Military College, Duntroon in 1975. He is married to Linda with whom he has three children: Caitlin, Marcus and Amelia.

He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of Wollongong in 2013; a Doctor of the University, honoris causa, from the University of New South Wales in 2015; made a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering in 2016; and awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Macquarie University in 2017.


Senator the Honourable Penny Wong

Minister for Foreign Affairs

Penny Wong was born in the Malaysian state of Sabah. Her family moved to Australia in 1976, when she was eight years old, and settled in Adelaide. She studied law and arts at the University of Adelaide. After university she worked for the trade union covering furniture industry employees, taking part in campaigns to improve pay and conditions for the union’s members, including poorly-paid female migrants working in upholstery workshops.

She worked as an adviser to the NSW Labor Government where she helped develop forests policy, and then as a barrister, before being elected to the Senate for the Australian Labor Party in 2001. Senator Wong has been re-elected four times - in 2007, 2013, 2016 and 2022.

With the election of the Rudd Government in 2007, she was appointed Minister for Climate Change and Water. In this position she significantly expanded the Renewable Energy Target, which has driven significant investment in wind and solar power. She also represented Australia in international climate change negotiations and developed the Rudd Government’s emissions trading scheme, a market based mechanism to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions in the most economically efficient way.

After the federal election of 2010, Senator Wong was appointed as Minister for Finance and Deregulation. As Finance Minister she worked with Treasurer Wayne Swan to deliver three Budgets in the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis. She also implemented a policy to ensure women are considered for appointments to senior positions in government agencies and corporations.

In 2013 Senator Wong was elected Leader of the Government in the Senate and, after the change of government in 2013, became Leader of the Opposition in the Senate – the first woman to hold either of these roles.

She served as Shadow Foreign Minister for six years before the election of the Albanese Government in 2022, when she was appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs.

As Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Wong seeks to rebuild Australia’s reputation as partner of choice - drawing on all elements of our national power – to build a stable and prosperous region, where sovereignty is respected and the rules of the road are upheld.

"I am delighted to become Patron-in-Chief of Young Australians in International Affairs.
We live in an incredibly fast-paced and exciting time. The global environment, and Indo-Pacific region in particular, is dynamic and offers opportunities and challenges for Australia. It is important to our future prosperity that the next generation of leaders and professionals are engaged with international affairs and build connections and expertise.
I am looking forward to being involved as Patron-in-Chief and supporting the team in their important mission."
-His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSD (Ret'd),
Governor General of the Commonwealth of Australia
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