Governors-General have acted as the personal representative of the Sovereign in Commonwealth realms for generations and day-to-day carry out a number of duties both official and ceremonial to fulfil this position act as a direct connection from the realm in particular to the reigning monarch in England. By doing so, both parties are at an advantage: the sovereign is able to hand over more of the everyday work involved in being an active head of state to the Governors-General and in turn the country in which the Governor-General in particular serves has a sort-of stand in monarch who is able to interact with the people of the country each and every day while the sovereign is away.
On the 8th of May 2013 the Australian Government released the following statement saying that from that point forward all current, past and future Governors-General would receive the title “The Honourable”.
Her Majesty The Queen has given approval for the title of ‘the Honourable’ to be granted to Australian Governors-General.
Governors-General will now be styled ‘Her/His Excellency the Honourable’ while in office and ‘the Honourable’ in retirement.
This entitlement applies retrospectively, as well as to the current and future holders of the office.
—Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Australia.
The change brings Australia in line with other Commonwealth realms such as New Zealand who already give their Governors-General the same title.
The first Governor-General of Australia was The Right Honourable John Adrian Louis Hope, 7th Earl of Hopetoun who assumed the office in 1901 and the current holder is Her Excellency, The Honourable Quentin Bryce who has been in office since 2008. Terms of office are not restricted by law or constitution but are generally five years.
You are able to view the government release concerning the title change online.
Photo information/source: Her Excellency, The Honourable Quentin Bryce – Governor-General of Australia — all rights reserved. Sourced via radschool.org.au – 11/07/2013 (NZT)