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David Hurley is an Australian former senior officer in the Australian Army who has served as the 27th governor-general of Australia since 1 July 2019. He was previously the 38th governor of New South Wales, serving from 2014 to 2019. In a 42-year military career, Hurley deployed on Operation Solace in Somalia in 1993, commanded the 1st Brigade (1999–2000), was the inaugural Chief of Capability Development Group (2003–2007) and Chief of Joint Operations (2007–2008) and served as Vice Chief of the Defence Force (2008–2011).
Hurley’s career culminated with his appointment as Chief of the Defence Force on 4 July 2011, in succession to Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston. Hurley retired from the army in June 2014 and succeeded Dame Marie Bashir as Governor of New South Wales on 2 October 2014. Hurley was involved in the Scott Morrison ministerial positions controversy when he secretly appointed Morrison to five ministerial positions between March 2020 and May 2021. Hurley was found to have no discretion to refuse Morrison’s advice and an inquiry considered criticism of Hurley’s role to be “unwarranted”.
General David John Hurley, AC, DSC, FTSE was born on August 26, 1953 (age 69 years) in Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia. He is the son of Norma and James Hurley. His father was an Illawarra steelworker and his mother worked in a grocery store. Hurley grew up in Port Kembla and attended Port Kembla High School, where he completed his Higher School Certificate in 1971. He subsequently graduated from the Royal Military College, Duntroon with a Graduate Diploma in Defence Studies, and from Deakin University with a Bachelor of Arts.
David Hurley entered the Royal Military College, Duntroon, as an officer cadet in January 1972. On graduating from Duntroon in December 1975, he has commissioned a lieutenant in the Royal Australian Infantry Corps. His initial posting was to the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (1RAR). Promoted to captain, he was appointed adjutant of the Sydney University Regiment before becoming regimental adjutant of the Royal Australian Regiment. He went on exchange to the 1st Battalion, Irish Guards, a British Army unit, before serving with 5th/7th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment.
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Hurley was promoted to lieutenant colonel and was posted as the Senior Career Adviser (Armour, Artillery, Engineers and Infantry) in the Office of the Military Secretary in 1990, appointed SO1 (Operations) Headquarters 2nd Division in early 1991, and in November 1991 assumed command of 1RAR, which he led during Operation Solace in Somalia in 1993. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his service during this deployment. In 1994 he became SO1 (Operations), Headquarters 1st Division.
Following promotion to colonel, Hurley was appointed Chief of Staff, Headquarters 1st Division in June 1994, attended the United States Army War College from 1996 to 1997, became Military Secretary to Chief of Army, and was posted to Australian Defence Headquarters as Director of Preparedness and Mobilisation in December 1997. As a brigadier, he assumed command of the 1st Brigade in Darwin in January 1999. During this period he oversaw the brigade’s transition to a higher degree of operational readiness and its support to Australian–led operations in East Timor. He went on to be Director General Land Development within Capability Systems in January 2001.
Hurley was promoted to major general in 2001 and served as Head Capability Systems Division from July 2001, and as Land Commander Australia from December 2002. Promoted to lieutenant general, he assumed the new appointment of Chief of Capability Development Group in December 2003, went on to take the newly separated appointment of Chief of Joint Operations in September 2007, and became Vice Chief of the Defence Force in July 2008.
Hurley was promoted to general and succeeded Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston as Chief of the Defence Force (CDF) on 4 July 2011. In January 2012 Hurley completed 40 years of service to the Australian Defence Force, and on 20 January 2012 while in Paris, he was presented with the insignia for Officer of the Legion of Honour by the French CDF.
In February 2012, he was presented with a fifth clasp to the Defence Force Service Medal in recognition of his 40 years of service. Hurley retired from the Australian Army on 30 June 2014 and was succeeded as CDF by Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin. Lieutenant General David Morrison, 2016 Australian of the Year, credited Hurley with the phrase “the standard you walk past is the standard you accept” in his anti-misogyny speech, which became “one of the most quoted phrases” of Morrison’s speech.
On 5 June 2014, New South Wales Premier Mike Baird announced that Hurley would replace Dame Marie Bashir as Governor of New South Wales: he was sworn in on 2 October 2014 after Bashir’s term as governor had expired. On 17 March 2015, he was invested as a Knight of the Order of St John by the Lord Prior of the Order, Neil Conn, at a ceremony at Government House, Sydney.
Governor-General of Australia
On 16 December 2018, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that Queen Elizabeth II had approved the appointment of Hurley as the next Governor-General of Australia commencing on 1 July 2019 marking him as the first representative of the monarch who had been born during the latter’s reign. Margaret Beazley was designated as his replacement as Governor of New South Wales. Hurley was sworn in as the 27th Governor-General at Parliament House, Canberra, on 1 July 2019. His first words were spoken in the language of the local Aboriginal people, the Ngunnawal language.
On 11 September 2019, when attending an Indonesian national day reception held by the Indonesian Embassy at the Australian National Gallery in Canberra, Hurley opted to make his address to the reception in Indonesian. After first making his address in Indonesian, he repeated his comments in English. This is the first recorded occasion that any Australian Governor-General has made any extended statement in Indonesian on any occasion in Australia.
On 18 March 2020, a human biosecurity emergency was declared in Australia owing to the risks to human health posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia, after the National Security Committee met the previous day. The Biosecurity Act 2015 specifies that the Governor-General may declare such an emergency exists if the Health Minister (at the time Greg Hunt) is satisfied that “a listed human disease is posing a severe and immediate threat, or is causing harm, to human health on a nationally significant scale”. The Biosecurity (Human Biosecurity Emergency) (Human Coronavirus with Pandemic Potential) Declaration 2020 was declared by Hurley under Section 475 of the Act.
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During his tenure, David Hurley promoted a leadership program to Morrison. The program — Australian Future Leaders Foundation Limited — was given $18 million in funding, despite having no office, online website or staff. This funding was cancelled by the Albanese government in September 2022, with Treasurer Jim Chalmers stating that it “didn’t pass muster” or represent “value for money”. Chalmers stated that there would not be an investigation into Hurley’s role in the program.
David Hurley is married to Linda McMartin, they had their wedding in 1977. His wife was born and raised in Sydney. She attended Kingsgrove High School and went on to become a teacher, commencing in 1976. David and his wife Linda have three children together.
David Hurley net worth
How much is David Hurley worth? David Hurley net worth is estimated at around $5 million. His main source of income is from his primary work as a governor-general. David Hurley’s salary per month and other career earnings are over $400,000 dollars annually. His remarkable achievements have earned him some luxurious lifestyles and some fancy car trips. He is one of the richest and most influential politicians in Australia. David Hurley stands at an appealing height of 1.75m and has a good body weight which suits his personality.