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Kevin Scarce

His Excellency Rear Admiral
Kevin John Scarce
34th Governor of South Australia
Assumed office
8 August 2007
Monarch Elizabeth II
Premier Mike Rann 2007–2011
Jay Weatherill 2011–
Lieutenant Hieu Van Le
Preceded by Marjorie Jackson-Nelson AC CVO MBE
Personal details
Born (1952-05-04) 4 May 1952 (age 62)
Adelaide, South Australia
Nationality Australian
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Anne Taylor
Children Kasha Scarce
LCDR Kingsley Scarce
Residence Government House, Adelaide
Alma mater University of New England
Profession Naval officer
Military service
Allegiance Australia
Service/branch Royal Australian Navy
Years of service 1968–2007
Rank Rear Admiral
Unit HMAS Sydney
HMAS Watson
Commands HMAS Cerberus
Battles/wars Vietnam War
Awards Companion of the Order of Australia
Conspicuous Service Cross

Rear Admiral Kevin John Scarce,    (born 4 May 1952)[1] is a retired officer of the Royal Australian Navy and the Governor of South Australia. He succeeded Marjorie Jackson-Nelson as Governor on 8 August 2007. He is also the Chief Scout of South Australia.

As Governor of South Australia he serves as the patron of many organisations including Foundation Daw Park, (the fundraising arm of the Repatriation General Hospital, Daw Park),[2] the Victoriana Society of South Australia and the Royal Automobile Association.[3]

Early and personal life

Born in Adelaide, South Australia in 1952, Scarce spent his early childhood in Woomera and attended Elizabeth East Primary School and Elizabeth High School. Joining the navy in 1968, Scarce served during the Vietnam War on the troop transport HMAS Sydney.[4]

In 1975, he married Elizabeth Anne Taylor while posted at HMAS Watson. They have two adult children, Kasha (born in 1978) and Kingsley (born in 1980). Kasha works as a social worker in Sydney and Kingsley serves as a Lieutenant Commander in the Royal Australian Navy.

Military procurement career

After the war, Scarce's naval career specialised in military logistics and procurement, rising to the rank of Rear Admiral and head of Maritime Systems at the Defence Materiel Organisation. Scarce also served as the commander of HMAS Cerberus between 1995 and 1997.

As head of the South Australian government's Defence Unit, he was responsible for South Australia's winning bid for a A$6 billion defence contract to build three air warfare destroyers for the Australian Defence Force.[5]

Service as Governor

On 3 May 2007, it was announced that Scarce would become Governor of South Australia – the Queen's representative in the state, although after his appointment he broke the tenets of viceregal impartiality by publicly stating that he is an avowed supporter of an Australian republic.[6] When appointed, he was the youngest South Australian-born Governor and the first Royal Australian Navy officer appointed to the position.[3] On 13 February 2013, Scarce's term was extended by two years to 7 August 2014.[7]




Companion of the Order of Australia (General Division) (AC) (2008)[11]
Officer of the Order of Australia (Military Division) (AO) (2004)[10]
Member of the Order of Australia (Military Division) (AM) (2001)[9]
80px Conspicuous Service Cross (CSC) (1994)[8]
Knight of the Order of St John (KStJ) (2007)
Australian Active Service Medal 1945–1975
80px Vietnam Logistic and Support Medal
Defence Force Service Medal with 4 clasps 35–39 years service
Australian Defence Medal


Government offices
Preceded by
Marjorie Jackson-Nelson
Governor of South Australia
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