Author(s): Lady Anna Cowen
Sunday, 8 January 1978 I have decided to keep a diary during Zelman's term of office as Governor General. I have kept diaries of three recent overseas journeys, and have been pleased that I had, because one forgets so much and the re-reading of a sentence can bring whole occasions, scenes, and otherwise forgotten things, vividly back to mind. And so begins an extraordinary record of the life of a Governor General's wife. Lady Anna Cowen's edited diaries capture the day-to-day life-the wardrobe fittings, the running of an enormous household-as well as the pomp and circumstance of vice-regal duties during the term Sir Zelman Cowen served as Australia's 19th Governor-General from 1977 to 1982.
Lady Anna Cowen is the widow of Sir Zelman Cowen, who was the Governor General of Australia after controversial Sir John Kerr. As wife of the vice-chancellor at the University of Queensland, she was somewhat prepared for the escalation in her official life, but her years at Yarralumla in the aftermath of the Whitlam dismissal were both rewarding and challenging.