Ms Dessau (pictured) steps into the role on July 1, succeeding governor Alex Chernov whose term ends June 30.
During her time on the Family Court, from 1995 to 2013, Ms Dessau chaired national projects relating to family violence and child abuse.
She has also served as AFL Commissioner since 2008 and was the inaugural chair of the Essendon Football Club Women’s Network.
“As an honest voice of change, Ms Dessau helped bring Australian family law and the Australian Football League into the new century,” said Victorian premier Daniel Andrews, who added that he was proud to recommend Ms Dessau to the Queen.
In 2010, Ms Dessau was named as a Member of the Order of Australia for her service to the judiciary and the community.
She joined the Victorian Bar in 1979 and went on to serve as a magistrate in the Children’s Court, Coroner’s Court and the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court prior to her appointment to the Family Court in 1995.