Ro Allen potentially in the running to be Victoria’s next governor

Victoria’s Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner Ro Allen is reportedly one of the names being touted as Victoria’s next governor.

The state’s current governor Linda Dessau is expected to retire from the role next month having served in the position for the last 8 years. Premier Daniel Andrews is yet to announce who here replacement will be, but according to the Herald Sun newspaper, Allen is being seriously considered.

Ro Allen was the state’s first Commissioner for LGBTIQ+ Communities following the Andrews’ government decision to establish a specific ministerial portfolio for Equality. During their time in the role Allen did significant work to highlight the needs of LGBTIQ+ people living in regional areas.

They are also credited with helping to coordinate the first official Pride game in the Australian Football League (AFL), a move which has broken down barriers in the sport. In 2021 Allen was promoted to the role of Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner.

If they are named the next Governor of Victoria, they would be the first non-binary person in Australia to hold such a position.

Several high-profile names have been suggested as possible contenders for the role including Melbourne’s Lord Mayor Sally Capp and Chief Magistrate Lisa Hannan. Former Andrews government ministers Jaala Pulford, Lisa Neville and Jill Hennessy have also been suggested for the role.

Current governor Linda Dessau, who is the 29th person to hold the role, made history as the first woman to be appointed to the position.

Until recently few women have held Vice-Regal roles in Australia. Dame Roma Mitchell was appointed Governor of South Australia in 1991. Leneen Forde became Governor of Queensland in 1992. Dame Marie Bashir became New South Wales first female governor in 2001, Kerry Sanderson was Western Australia’s first female governor, taking up her appointment in October 2014, while Professor Kate Warner became Tasmania’s governor a few months later.

Dame Quentin Bryce became Australia’s first Governor-General in 2008, having previously served as Governor of Queensland.

OIP Staff

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