Role of the Administrator

The Administrator of the Northern Territory is appointed by the Governor-General by Commission under the Seal of Australia in accordance with the provisions of the Northern Territory (Self Government) Act 1978. The Administrator holds office during the pleasure of the Governor-General, and is charged with the duty of administering the government of the Northern Territory. The Administrator has a role and responsibilities essentially the same as those of a State Governor.

Statutory Duties

The Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory is empowered to make laws for the peace, order and good government of the Territory. Every Bill (proposed law) passed by the Assembly is submitted to the Administrator for assent before it can become law. Following a Northern Territory election, the Administrator appoints to specific portfolios Ministers chosen from the political party which forms Government. These Ministers form an Executive Council to advise the Administrator in relation to matters in respect of which the Ministers have executive authority.

The Administrator’s duties include the following:

  • Present the Government's policy speech at the opening session of a new parliament.
  • Make statutory appointments under Northern Territory legislation on the advice of the Executive Council.

Representational Duties

The Administrator’s duties include the following:

  • On the invitation of the Governor-General, hold Investitures for recipients of honours and awards under the Australian Honours System.
  • On the invitation of the Grand Prior of the Order of St John, invest recipients of honours of that Order.
  • On request, present awards under schemes with Royal Patronage such as the Duke of Edinburgh's Award.
  • On request, make presentations to recipients on behalf of professional, educational, cultural, youth and community-oriented organisations.

Ceremonial Duties

The Administrator may agree to be a patron of public institutions, philanthropic, patriotic and cultural societies, social, sporting and athletic clubs and youth groups.

In addition, the Administrator may, on request:

  • open new buildings
  • review parades
  • undertake public speaking engagements to address conferences and seminars, luncheons, dinners and annual general meetings
  • open exhibitions, shows and sporting fixtures
  • attend and address and lay wreaths at remembrance and church services associated with events of national and Northern Territory significance

Government House

The Administrator resides at Government House on the Esplanade in Darwin. Government House plays an important role in providing the venue for entertaining visiting Royalty and official dignitaries, including vice-regal, diplomatic and government representatives of Australia and other nations. The Administrator maintains a busy schedule of functions at Government House relating to Statutory, Representational and Ceremonial duties.


Northern Territory Government
footer menu
Northern Territory Government