Vale General Jeffery| Posted Feb 02,2021
It was with great sadness that we learned of the death of Major General the Hon. Michael Jeffery in December last year.
General Jeffery was not only the inaugural National Soils Advocate, but he was also the inaugural Patron of the Soil CRC.
When General Jeffery stood down from his role as Patron of the Soil CRC in June 2020 due to ill health, he said “I was so pleased to become the first Patron of the Soil CRC as I am so proud of all that you are achieving.”
At the 2019 Soil CRC Participants Conference, General Jeffery remarked “I see the Soil CRC as the most important research being undertaken in Australia at the present time because perhaps for the first time you are dealing with research issues that directly impact on the farmer and you’re bringing the farming community with you in that research which is very important.”
Following an illustrious military career, General Jeffery served as the Governor-General of Australia from 2003 to 2008. In 2012, General Jeffery was appointed by the Prime Minister as Australia’s first National Soils Advocate. He was reinstated in this role in July 2019 as the position was made permanent.
As National Soils Advocate, he worked tirelessly to raise public and political awareness of the critical role soil plays in underpinning sustainable productivity, delivering high quality ecosystem services and helping to meet global challenges including food security and climate change.
General Jeffery played an important role in 2016 in ensuring the Soil CRC bid was successful. He acted as an advisor to the bid team and was a critical part of the team that presented verbally to the assessment panel, with General Jeffery delivering the closing arguments. With that background, the Board had no hesitation in inviting General Jeffery to be the Patron of the Soil CRC. As Patron, he continued to promote the objectives and capabilities of the CRC, whilst also providing valuable input to its directions and activities.
The Soil CRC is immensely grateful for the leadership and support that General Jeffery has provided, both as National Soils Advocate and as Patron of the Soil CRC and more broadly, as a passionate supporter of soil health throughout his life.