on air now

Sir Peter Cosgrove reflects on a uniquely ‘public moment’ as Governor-General

Article image for Sir Peter Cosgrove reflects on a uniquely ‘public moment’ as Governor-General

Sir Peter Cosgrove’s new memoir reflects on his life and career, and the uniquely “public moment” when he signed the bill as Governor-General to legalise same-sex marriage in Australia.

In a wide-ranging interview with Neil Mitchell, he spoke about the memoir You Shouldn’t Have Joined,  and his life a professional soldier.

“I used to have very clear memories, almost the sights, sounds and smells of the time.

“These are very stark at the time, every human sense you have is heightened. It can be quite vivid, but it fades over time.

“It was as if a very high-definition film had been imprinted in your brain.”

He served as Governor-General for over 5 years, and highlighted the same-sex marriage bill in the book as particularly memorable.

“I saw it as being a great national moment,” he said.

“It got the highest priority level of debate in both houses of parliament.

“I thought there’d been so much public interest that around Australia people of all sides of the debate, particularly people who were personally affected by the legislation, would be sitting around in their seats waiting to see this piece of legislation become the law of the land.

“So I put on a little show and tell in the drawing room of government house with the enthusiastic presence of the Prime Minister of the day, Malcolm Turnbull, and Attorney-General of the day, George Brandis, to formally present the legislation to me, with a signature to follow.

“And it was therefore, a public moment, an unusually public moment.”

Press PLAY below to hear the full interview 


Image: Getty/Hanna Lassen/WireImage