Siddhesh Joshi (Editor)

William Deane

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Monarch  Elizabeth II
Alma mater  University of Sydney
Preceded by  Bill Hayden
Children  2
Resigned  June 29, 2001

Spouse(s)  Helen Russell
Succeeded by  Peter Hollingworth
Nominated by  Malcolm Fraser
Name  William Deane
Awards  Sydney Peace Prize
William Deane 2001 Sir William Deane AC KBE Sydney Peace Foundation
Prime Minister  Paul KeatingJohn Howard
Born  4 January 1931 (age 84)Melbourne, Victoria,Australia (1931-01-04)
Role  Former Governor-General of Australia
Previous office  Governor-General of Australia (1996–2001)
Education  University of Sydney, Hague Academy of international law

Sir william deane part 1

Sir William Patrick Deane (born 4 January 1931) is an former Australian lawyer and judge who served as the 22nd Governor-General of Australia, in office from 1996 to 2001. He was previously a Justice of the High Court of Australia from 1982 to 1995.


William Deane Sir William Deane urges Australians to reflect on their

Deane was born in Melbourne. He received his undergraduate education at the University of Sydney, and later studied international law at The Hague Academy of International Law in the Netherlands. Prior to joining the judiciary, Deane worked for periods as a barrister and university lecturer. He was appointed to the Supreme Court of New South Wales in 1977, and later that year was also appointed to the Federal Court of Australia. Deane was elevated to the High Court in 1982, and during his tenure was generally considered to fall on the court's progressive side. He retired from the court in 1995, and the following year was appointed governor-general on the recommendation of Paul Keating. Deane had a low profile during his five-year term, facing no major constitutional issues, but did come to international notice by officially opening the 2000 Summer Olympics.

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Early life

William Deane was born in the Melbourne suburb of St Kilda. He was educated at Catholic schools, including St Joseph's College, Hunters Hill, and at the University of Sydney, where he graduated in arts and law. He also attended The Hague Academy of International Law.

After graduation, Deane worked in the federal Attorney-General's Department in Canberra and at the law firm Minter Simpson (later to become Minter Ellison). He also travelled to Europe to study international law. He was called to the Sydney Bar in 1957 and also lectured in law at university.

During this time, Deane was active in the Catholic community and showed an interest in politics. In 1955 he briefly became a member of the Democratic Labor Party, a predominantly Catholic and anti-Communist breakaway from the Australian Labor Party. He soon became disillusioned with the party and played no further part in active politics, but he was strongly influenced by progressive Catholic doctrines of social justice and of opposition to racial discrimination.

Judicial career

In 1977 Deane was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of New South Wales and, in the same year, he was appointed to the Federal Court of Australia and as President of the Australian Trade Practices Tribunal. In June 1982 he was appointed to the High Court of Australia, replacing Sir Ninian Stephen on his appointment as Governor-General. He received a knighthood in August 1982. On the court he formed part of the majority which recognised native title in the landmark Mabo case of 1992.


In August 1995, the Labor Prime Minister, Paul Keating, announced that the Queen of Australia had agreed to the appointment of Deane as Governor-General to succeed Bill Hayden. Deane retired from the High Court in November and was sworn in as Governor-General on 16 February 1996. Less than a month later the Liberal/National coalition led by John Howard defeated Keating's government in the Australian federal election, 1996.

Deane's term of office was due to expire on 31 December 2000 but was extended on the recommendation of the Howard Government until the middle of 2001 to enable him to be Governor-General at the time of the Centenary of Federation celebrations.


Deane officially opened the 2000 Summer Olympics, giving a brief speech in front of a crowd of 110,000 people at the Sydney Olympic Stadium. Prime Minister John Howard had originally planned to open the games himself, with the agreement of the organising committee and the International Olympic Committee (IOC). However, in November 1999 he changed his mind and advised the IOC that Deane would be opening the games. Howard said this was due to "a concern that my opening the Olympic Games would become a party political issue [...] I think in the long run it'll be better for the Olympic Games for the Governor-General to open them because we will be removing that one area of political controversy". Members of the opposition Labor Party had advocated that the Queen be asked to perform the honours (as at the 1956 Melbourne Games), arguing that it was hypocritical for Howard to support the retention of the monarchy at the 1999 republic referendum but not call upon the Queen to represent Australia.

Later years

As of 2014 Deane acts as Patron or co-Patron of a large number of charitable organizations working for the disadvantaged, including Matthew Talbot Homeless Services, Father Chris Riley's Youth off the Streets, the Starlight Foundation, the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation and Home in Queanbeyan. He is also a Patron of Reconciliation Australia and of the Australian Indigenous Doctors Association. The A.C.T. Government appointed him as Patron of the National Capital's 2013 Centenary Celebrations. He is a former Patron and Chair of international aid-organization CARE Australia and a member of its advisory board.


Deane was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) on 10 August 1982, a few weeks after being appointed to the High Court. On Australia Day 1988, he was made a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC). He is also a Knight Commander with Star of the Papal Order of St. Gregory the Great and a Knight of the Venerable Order of St. John.

In 2001, Deane was awarded the Sydney Peace Prize "for his consistent support of vulnerable and disadvantaged Australians and his strong commitment to the cause of reconciliation".


William Deane Wikipedia