Our founder


Major General the Honourable Michael Jeffery AC, AO(Mil), CVO, MC (Retd) hails from Wiluna, Western Australia, and his passion for agriculture and the healthy landscape it depends on remains undiminished.

His distinguished military career includes 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 - 2000, and as Australia’s Governor-General between 2003 and 2008. Before taking up residence at Government House in Canberra, Michael established a not for profit strategic research institute – Future Directions International (FDI) in Perth.

Currently, he is Chairman of FDI, SFL, The Constitutional Education Fund Australia (CEFA) and The Australian Trachoma Alliance (ATA) and, in October 2013, he was appointed as Australia's National Advocate for Soil Health.

In that role, Michael has been 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.

Michael believes the immense body of scientifically proven practices undertaken as part of our Case Study Program, has the potential to be applied internationally. India, China, sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and many other countries are facing the same dire outlook, with severely degraded soils and reduced nutrient and water holding capacity.

Michael believes Australia can help teach farmers worldwide, how to regenerate their landscapes, produce more nutritious food, and create healthier communities.

Download the Policy Paper

This year, as Australia’s National Advocate for Soil Health, 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. The paper is currently being considered by the Federal and State Governments.

Policy Paper Soils for Life Restore the soil: Prosper the nation