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Uproar after Governor-General David Hurley’s wife Linda demands soldiers at Adelaide RAAF base sing

‘They’re professionals, and we should treat them like professionals.’

Govenor General request to soldier slammed as 'awkward'

The RSL has asked Governor-General David Hurley’s wife Linda to respect the professionalism of soldiers after she demanded defence force personnel in Adelaide sing her one of her favourite songs three times.

Soldiers said they were asked by Linda Hurley to sing You Are My Sunshine by Christina Perri at an event at RAAF Base Edinburgh during a visit by the vice-regal couple in April.

7NEWS understands senior members of the ADF at the function were not impressed by the request.

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RSL South Australia president Dave Petersen said soldiers who joined the governor-general for refreshments after a parade were asked to join the singing.

But he said the song was inappropriate as some members of the 7th battalion were preparing to travel to the United Kingdom to train Ukrainian recruits for the war against Russia.

“To be asking soldiers training to go to war to sing a song like You Are My Sunshine seems a little bit contradictory to what the ADF is there to do,” Petersen said.

“I certainly had members of the RSL and members of the battalion speak to me about how awkward and uncomfortable they all felt.

“The soldiers, sailors and aviators are sent all around the world to do the government’s bidding, they’re professionals, and we should treat them like professionals.”

Governor-General David Hurley and wife Linda Hurley.
Governor-General David Hurley and wife Linda Hurley. Credit: Supplied

The official secretary for Governor-General David Hurley responded to the RSL’s concern, saying the event was not a ceremonial occasion.

“After the governor-general addressed soldiers, Mrs Hurley — who has devoted almost 50 years of her life to the army as a military wife — sang with the troops,” the spokesperson said.

Hurley has publicly spoken about her love of music and said singing was “intrinsically good for human beings” in an interview with News Corp in 2022.

She said singing Perri’s well-known hit was an icebreaker she used at some events.

“There might be the odd group of people who think, ‘Oh my goodness, this is ridiculous’.

“And they might think, ‘Why is this woman doing this, this is Government House, why is she making us sing?’ But they all seem to react positively and then most of the evening we talk about singing,” Hurley told the outlet.

David Hurley was sworn in as the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia on July 1, 2019 following 42 years in the military. He married Linda in 1977.

Lawyer and businesswoman Samantha Mostyn has been named as Hurley’s replacement and will be sworn in as Australia’s next governor-general on July 1.

-With Hayden Nelson.

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