Queensland has lost a chief health officer but will gain a new governor when Jeannette Young is sworn in on Monday.
Dr Young is embarking on a career change, leaving public health behind – for now – to serve as Queensland’s 27th governor.
She’s the fourth woman to do so, following in the footsteps of Leneen Forde, Dame Quentin Bryce, and Penelope Wensley.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk chose Dr Young to replace Queensland’s former chief justice Paul de Jersey as governor, based on her deft handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The premier said Queenslanders had a deep sense of trust in Dr Young and it was a “no brainer” to make her the next governor in the middle of pandemic.
But the move leaves Queensland without a replacement. Infectious diseases doctor Krispin Hajkowicz was anointed to take over as chief health officer, but on Friday said he could not proceed, for personal reasons.
Deputy Chief Health Officer Dr Peter Aitken is leading Queensland’s pandemic response until a permanent replacement is found.
Dr Young will be sworn in on Monday afternoon after a farewell parade for Justice de Jersey, who has served as governor since 2014.
Earlier this year, he agreed to extend his tenure, to give Dr Young more time to advance Queensland’s COVID-19 vaccination rollout.
As governor, Dr Young will have a range of important legal and constitutional responsibilities, including appointing ministers and dissolving parliament when elections are called.
She also has ceremonial and community responsibilities.