Purpose of guidelines

  • These guidelines have been prepared to assist those who are arranging a function to which Her Excellency the Governor has been invited, both to arrange the function and to provide the information sought by Government House.
  • It is essential that the information sought in the function briefing sheet and in these guidelines, as well as speech material, be provided by the date specified, as Government House staff are often dealing with several functions at any time.

Written brief for functions

  • A written brief is prepared for every function attended by the Governor, based on the information provided by the host of the function.
  • A copy of the final brief will normally be sent by the staff at Government House to the organisers before the function.

Attending / Attended by

  • The Governor will normally be attended by her Aide (during office hours) or one of her Honorary Aides-de-camp (on evenings and weekends).
  • The name of the person attending the Governor will be included in the final brief.

Order of Dress

  • The Order of Dress for the Governor should be that specified for the occasion in the invitations or otherwise made known to the people attending the function.
  • If decorations are to be worn this should be specified in the invitations.
  • If any special clothing is recommended for safety, climatic or other reasons this should be specified.


  • The Governor makes every endeavour to arrive precisely on time.
  • A sketch of the arrival point for the Vice-Regal vehicle should be provided.

Greeted by

  • The host(s) for the function (and their partners if appropriate) should greet the Governor at the car upon arrival.
  • The following information should be provided about the host(s):
    • the correct name, including title, given name, surname and post nominals
    • the position the host holds in the host organisation
    • brief biographical details.

Persons presented

  • The names and official positions of any other people who will be presented to the Governor before the function commences should be listed, giving:
    • the correct name, including title, given name, surname and post nominals
    • the position the person holds (or their relevance to the event)
    • brief biographical details.
  • Those presented would normally include executive office holders of the host organisation, principal guests and dignitaries (eg. Ministers, Members of Parliament etc.) and their partners, where appropriate, and those who sit at the official table or who will be on the dais at a ceremony or opening etc.
  • The presentation of such people should, where possible, take place in a foyer, ante room or at the entrance to the venue, rather than in front of the other people attending the function.
  • If other special guests are present, but are not being presented, it would be appreciated if a list of these guests could also be provided.
  • It is usual for the host to present guests to the Governor, and to escort the Governor when mingling with guests.

Function area

  • Please advise in what part of the venue the function is actually taking place.
  • Advise if it is indoors or outside, in the open or in a marquee etc.
  • Advise if it is in a dining room, a reception room, a conference room, a lecture theatre, a hall, a theatre, a classroom, a church, a boardroom etc.

Function commencement time

  • Generally the function should be timed to commence shortly after the arrival of the Governor, allowing time for presentation of special guests (about 5 minutes).
  • Other guests should arrive before the Governor arrives.

Seating plan

  • Whenever the Governor is seated at a function, a seating plan should be provided, as an attachment to the function briefing sheet.
  • The Governor should be seated on the host's right-hand side.
  • To avoid confusion, place cards should be used at the official table and on stage seating. Place cards should merely give the title and name of the guest; letters indicating decorations or other awards are not included after the name.
  • The Aide-de-camp or other person attending the Governor should be seated where he or she is able to see and be seen by the Governor, but not at the official table.
  • Where the function is a Church service, the Governor and her Aide-de-camp or other accompanying person should occupy the front right hand pew.

Function order of proceedings

  • A detailed order of proceedings should be attached, so that the Governor can be briefed on exactly what will happen at the function whilst she is there.
  • This should include estimated timings for speeches and presentations etc.
  • It should identify the people involved in the proceedings and the part they play.
  • It should also clearly identify any part the Governor is requested to play in the proceedings.
  • An estimated time of completion must also be included.

Mode of address

  • The Governor should be addressed as "Your Excellency" on first greeting. Thereafter "Your Excellency" or "Ma'am" may be used. "Your Excellency" should be used on farewell.

Style and Title

  • Her Excellency the Honourable Frances Adamson AC, Governor of South Australia.
  • For seat and table place cards: "Her Excellency".
  • Where the Governor has agreed to unveil a plaque, the wording of the plaque should be approved by Government House.
  • Where the Governor's presence is referred to in an invitation, the wording of the invitation should be approved by Government House.

Vice Regal Salute / Australian National Anthem

  • The Vice-Regal Salute is the first four and the last four bars of "Advance Australia Fair". For the sheet music please download below.
  • It is customary to play the Vice-Regal Salute to mark the arrival of the Governor at ceremonial and formal occasions, such as opening ceremonies, award ceremonies, dinners for formal occasions and major receptions. It may also be appropriate to play the Vice-Regal Salute for theatre performances and concerts if it is a gala occasion or an opening night performance and it is not artistically inappropriate. For Church services, it would be appropriate to play the Vice-Regal Salute if the Governor is taking a special part in the service or if the service is for a special occasion.
  • The Vice-Regal Salute may be played live (ie. on musical instruments) or using a recording over an adequately amplified public address system.
  • Government House can provide a CD or mp3 recording of the Vice-Regal Salute, if requested (to be returned to Government House as soon as possible after use).
  • It should not be played when the Governor is walking. It is played when she has reached her position at the dais, podium or table and all the accompanying party are motionless. [It can be embarrassing if it is played too early, as protocol requires the official party to stand to attention for the salute, where-ever they may be.]

Speeches by the Governor

  • Requests for the Governor to make a speech should be indicated when the invitation is issued. Unless it has been agreed at the time of accepting an invitation, the Governor will not speak at a function.
  • The Governor does not usually propose or respond to toasts.
  • Where a speech has been agreed, material to assist in the preparation of the speech (or draft speech, if requested) must be provided by the date specified.
  • If there are to be other speakers before the Governor, it is important that Government House is advised of the subject matter on which they will speak, to avoid overlap.
  • At a function where the Governor will speak, it would be appreciated if an adequately illuminated lectern and a public address system could be provided.

Wet Weather arrangements

  • Where it is planned to hold the function outdoors, a wet weather alternative is to be provided.