Hieu Van Le

Hieu Van Le, AC (Vietnamese: Lê Văn Hiếu; born 1 January 1954) was the 35th governor of South Australia, in office from 1 September 2014 to 31 August 2021. He served as the state's lieutenant-governor from 2007 to 2014. He also served as chair of the South Australian Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission (SAMEAC) from 2006 to 2009. Le is the first person of Asian heritage to be appointed a state governor in Australia,[1] and first person of Vietnamese background to be appointed to a vice-regal position anywhere in the world.[2]

Hieu Van Le
Le in 2015
35th Governor of South Australia
In office
1 September 2014  31 August 2021
MonarchElizabeth II
PremierJay Weatherill
Steven Marshall
Lieutenant GovernorBrenda Wilson
Preceded byKevin Scarce
Succeeded byFrances Adamson
Lieutenant Governor of South Australia
In office
31 August 2007  15 August 2014
GovernorKevin Scarce
Preceded byBruno Krumins
Succeeded byBrenda Wilson
Personal details
Born (1954-01-01) 1 January 1954
Quảng Trị, State of Vietnam, Indochinese Federation
SpouseLan T. Phuong Le
ResidenceGovernment House
Alma materDalat University
University of Adelaide

Early life

Le was born in Quảng Trị, South Vietnam, on 1 January 1954. He was raised and educated in Đà Nẵng, and attended Dalat University. In November 1977, he fled the new communist regime in Vietnam and arrived by boat in Darwin, Northern Territory, as a refugee, with his wife Lan and about 40 other people.[3] Their two sons were born in Australia and are named after Australian cricketers Sir Donald Bradman and Kim Hughes.[4]


After arriving in Australia, Le attended the University of Adelaide, receiving a Master of Business Administration and an Economics degree. He was a senior investigator and manager with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission from the early 1990s until his retirement in 2009.[5] He is also a member of the Australian Society of Certified Practising Accountants (CPA) and a Fellow Member of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia (Finsia).


Le's appointment as Governor of South Australia to replace Kevin Scarce was announced on 26 June 2014; he took office on 1 September, with Scarce's term expiring on 7 August.[4][6] Le is a Catholic and credits his experiences as a refugee for strengthening his religious convictions.[7] In June 2019, Premier Steven Marshall announced that Le's original term as governor had been extended by two years, to 31 August 2021.[8]


Viceregal styles of
Hieu Van Le
Reference styleHis Excellency the Honourable
Spoken styleYour Excellency
  • 2001: Centenary Medal "for service to the advancement of multiculturalism in Australia",[5]


  1. Martin, Sarah (2 September 2014). "SA Governor Hieu Van Le 'a beacon of hope'". The Australian. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
  2. "Graduations 2008: Honorary degrees". Adelaidean. 24 August 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. Holderhead, Sheradyn (26 June 2014). "South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill names Hieu Van Le as next Governor". The Advertiser. News Limited. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
  4. "Hieu Van Le to be next SA Governor: From war-torn Vietnam to vice-regal post". ABC News. 26 June 2014. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
  5. "Hieu Van Le to be appointed as South Australia's next Governor" (PDF) (Press release). Government of South Australia. Premier of South Australia. 26 June 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
  6. "Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce to stay on as South Australia governor". news.com.au. 13 February 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  7. DiGirolamo, Rebecca. "Life's no accident". The Southern Cross. Archived from the original on 18 December 2014. Retrieved 18 December 2014.
  8. "South Australian Governor Hieu Van Le has his term extended by two years". 7 News. 10 June 2019. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  9. "LE, Hieu Van". It's An Honour. Government of Australia. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
  10. Queen's Birthday honours: SA Governor Hieu Van Le recognised with Companion Order ABC News, 13 June 2016. Retrieved 13 June 2016.
  11. "Understanding the Most Venerable Order of St John" (PDF). Governor of New South Wales. Governor of New South Wales. 12 December 2014. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
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