The decision of who will fill the role falls on the Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews, who will make the official appointment on behalf of King Charles III. With a number of senior female figures rumored to be in the running, the race for the governor position is heating up.
A leading name floated for the role is is Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp, whose close friendship with tycoon Lindsay Fox has led to renewed speculation about her appointment. However, while some insiders believe that Capp’s lack of confrontation with the Andrews government during lockdown could work in her favor, others argue that the government’s reluctance to fund council programs indicates a lack of personal connection between Capp and Andrews.
Another possible candidate is Chief Magistrate Lisa Hannan, who was appointed to the role in 2019. Then Attorney-General Jill Hennessy praised Hannan, saying, “Judge Hannan is a highly experienced, respected, and capable judge who will perform the role of Chief Magistrate with distinction.”
Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Marilyn Warren, who has served as Victoria’s Lieutenant Governor, is also considered a safe choice for the position, with her cautious demeanor and impeccable credentials. The relative youth of former government ministers Jaala Pulford, Lisa Neville, and Jill Hennessy may count against them, though they are still seen as potential candidates.
Litigation lawyer Janet Whiting, NGV council of trustees president, and Anne Ferguson, who replaced Warren as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, are also rumored to be in the running.
While male contenders appear to be in short supply, former police chief commissioner Ken Lay, a former Lieutenant Governor, has expressed his desire for the role, though he is seen as an outside chance.
Governor Dessau, the state’s first female governor, has been in the position since 2015. In 2019, her five-year term was extended for three years until June 2023, and early talks suggest that she could be a contender to replace Governor-General David Hurley when his term ends in 2024.