As a non-profit, non-government organisation, Soils for Life is managed by a small Program Office and relies on the generous support provided by our many friends and volunteers.

Read about the wonderful farmers and land managers whose stories we hope will inspire many others to adopt regenerative landscape management practices.

Soils for Life Board

Michael Jeffery

Major General The Honourable Michael Jeffery, AC, AO(Mil), CVO, MC (Retd) was born in Wiluna, Western Australia in 1937. He graduated from the Royal Military College, Duntroon into Infantry serving operationally in Malaya, Borneo, Papua New Guinea and Vietnam, where he was awarded the Military Cross and the South Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. He retired from the Army in 1993 and was appointed Governor of Western Australia until 2000. Post retirement as Governor, he established in Perth, a not for profit strategic research institute – Future Directions International (FDI). From 2003 to 2008 he served as Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia where his key interests were in youth, education and food security. Currently he is Chairman of FDI and Outcomes Australia and patron of some other 16 charitable organisations and the Executive Chairman of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust in Australia. In October 2013 he was appointed by the Prime Minister as Australia's Advocate for Soil Health. Married to Marlena, he enjoys golf, cricket, fishing, reading and music.

Peter Debnam

Peter Debnam’s experience began with his Navy service followed by executive roles in business development and general management in the aerospace and rural service industries. He completed an MBA in 1993 before being elected to the NSW State Parliament the following year. In parliament for 17 years, Peter was a Shadow Minister in many portfolios and Leader of the Liberal Party and State Opposition between 2005 and 2007. After deciding to leave State Parliament in 2011, Peter has contributed much of his time and energy to serving on the boards of a number of charities and not-for-profit organisations.

Brent Finlay

Brent Finlay is the current President of the National Farmers’ Federation. Brent has more than 25 years experience in agriculture through his family's farming business in Queensland. He has worked extensively in sheep, wool, cattle, grain and hay production, and now runs Cooinda, a sheepmeat, wool and beef property in the Traprock region of south east Queensland, with his three daughters.
Brent's roles in agricultural representation began in 2000. During this time, the focus was on marketing, environmental issues and membership growth - issues that remain as relevant for Australian agriculture as a whole today as they were for Queensland woolgrowers then. He has held numerous representative positions since that time, and was elected as NFF president in November 2013.

Chris Knoblanche

Chris Knoblanche is currently Senior Advisor, Corporate & Investment Banking, Australia & New Zealand for Citigroup. He has been advising local and multinational companies for over 32 years in areas such as corporate strategy, financing, risk control and management. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting and Financial Management), is a Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and is a Fellow of the Australia Society of CPAs. He holds various key board positions. Chris is currently Chair of The Australian Ballet. In 2003 he was awarded the Centenary Medal by the Federal Government for service to business and the arts.

Moira Lanzarin

Moira Lanzarin is a modern farmer: combining 4th generation cattle breeding heritage and a lifetime of practical knowledge and love of the land with tertiary studies in Business Law and diploma of Company Director. She manages the family company’s stud and beef operations in the Northern Territory and a 500 square kilometre rangeland property. She has been instrumental in introducing Holistic Management to the NT and extensively involved with Indigenous cattle management. She has extensive board experience at a local, Territory and national level within industry and Government.

Alasdair MacLeod

Alasdair MacLeod worked for News Ltd for 20 years where his roles included Managing Director of The Times of London and of Nationwide News, the publisher of The Daily Telegraph and The Australian. He now devotes a great deal of his time to overseeing family owned grazing enterprises in the Southern Tableland and New England Regions of NSW, where he is implementing high performance land management practices.

Neal Menzies

Neal Menzies is an Australian Professor of Soil Science at The University of Queensland. In his early adult years, Neal completed a Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Hons) in 1985, a Master of Agricultural Studies in 1987, and a PhD in 1992. Neal has worked for the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Cameroon, the Newcastle University (Newcastle upon Tyne) in England, and The University of Queensland in Australia, where he is currently Head of the School of Agriculture and Food Sciences.

Marvin Weinman

Marvin Weinman is a company director and business advisor with over 20 years experience in managing companies in Australia, New Zealand, United States, Asia, Japan and Canada. Marvin has a wide-ranging management background in marketing, supply chain management and financial and strategic planning within the fast moving consumer goods, apparel products and the building material industries.
With a track record of driving major change and improvement programs, his executive experience includes MD of George Weston Foods and of Boral Building products and he served as general manager for Laminex Industries and Formica Asia.


FDI logo

Soils for Life holds an information-sharing relationship with Future Directions International (FDI).

FDI is an independent, not-for-profit research institute based in Perth, Western Australia. It was established in 2000 by Major General Michael Jeffery together with a small group of leading Australians to conduct comprehensive research of important medium to long-term issues facing Australia.

FDI’s primary aim is to provide informed, balanced advice on issues such as global food and water crises, the development of Northern Australia, the Indian Ocean and energy security, which will ultimately result in policy changes that will enhance the quality of strategic decisions at senior levels of the public and private sectors in Australia for the benefit of all Australians.

We are delighted to have the following organisations as our partners as we seek to encourage change in how the Australian landscape is managed.

VISY logo caring for our country logo Rotary Club of Sydney

Soils for Life is a Registered Environmental Organisation with deductible gift recipient status. Contact us if you are interested in supporting Soils for Life.