University of Melbourne Magazine

First woman governor

  • Alumna The Hon Linda Dessau AM will shortly become the first woman to be appointed Governor of Victoria. Ms Dessau will be the 10th member of the University’s alumni community to hold office as Victoria’s head of state.

    She served as a Judge of the Family Court from 1995 to 2013. Prior to that, 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. She has also served as an AFL Commissioner since 2008.

    Ms Dessau (LLB(Hons) 1973) will take over from His Excellency The Hon Alex Chernov AC QC (BCom 1962, LLB(Hons) 1967, LLD 2012) on July 1. Other alumni who have held the role are Sir George Ferguson Bowen GCMG (MA 1874, LLD 1876), Major General Sir Rohan Delacombe KCMG KCVO KBE CBDSO (LLD 1967), The Hon Sir Henry Winneke AC KCMG KCVO OBE (LLB 1929, LLM 1945, LLD 1978), The Rev Dr J Davis McCaughey AC (MA 1962, LLD 1982, Ormond College), The Hon Richard E McGarvie AC QC (LLB(Hons) 1951, BCom 1971, LLD 1990), The Hon Sir James Augustine Gobbo AC CVO KStJ QC (BA(Hons) 1952, LLD 2000, Newman College), John Landy AC CVO MBE (BAgrSc 1954, LLD 2003) and Professor David de Kretser AC (MB BS 1962, LLD 2012).

    The Hon Linda Dessau AM

    Victoria’s Governor-Designate, The Hon Linda Dessau AM, has had a distinguished legal career.