Major General the Honorable Michael Jeffery
Our Founder and Patron
Born in Wiluna in Western Australia, General Jeffery’s distinguished military career included operational service in Malaya, Borneo, Papua New Guinea and Vietnam, where he was awarded the Military Cross and the South Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. He served as Governor of Western Australia from 1993 to 2000 and as Australia’s Governor General between 2003 and 2008.
However, it was his work as Australia’s National Soils Advocate that made him so well known and loved within our community. In that role, General Jeffery was pivotal in alerting Australians to the generally poor quality of our soils and working to encourage everyone to focus on their regeneration. General Jeffery founded Soils For Life in 2013. His vision – to encourage all Australians to focus on soil health and the urgent need to regenerate our rural landscapes – still underpins the work of Soils For Life. His ability to connect with Australians across the country around his passion for agriculture and the healthy landscape it depends on was undiminished until the very end.
A VISION FOR THE FUTURE
In October 2013, he was appointed as Australia’s National Advocate for Soil Health. In that role, Michael was pivotal in alerting Australians to the generally poor quality of our soils. His vision – to encourage all Australians to focus on soil health and the urgent need to regenerate our urban and rural landscapes – underpins the work of Soils For Life.
AN ENDURING LEGACY
Michael believed Australia can help teach farmers worldwide how to regenerate their landscapes, produce more nutritious food and create healthier communities. He was passionate and eloquent about the importance of regenerative landscape management to everyone who eats. You can access the archives of Michael Jeffery’s speeches from national and international events here.
DOWNLOAD THE POLICY PAPER
In 2018, as Australia’s National Advocate for Soil Health, Major General Jeffery presented his paper, “Restore the Soil: Prosper the Nation“, to both the Prime Minister and the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, the Hon. David Littleproud.