Major General Philip Michael Jeffery AC, CVO, MC (born 12 December 1937) was the 24th Governor-General of Australia (2003–2008), the first Australian career soldier to be appointed governor-general. He had previously served as Governor of Western Australia (1993–2000).
Early life and military career
Michael Jeffery was born in Wiluna, Western Australia and was educated at Kent Street Senior High School. At 16 he left Perth to attend the Royal Military College, Duntroon, in Canberra. After graduation in 1958, he served in a number of junior positions before being posted to Malaya in 1962 for operational service. From 1966 to 1969 he served in Papua New Guinea. During this posting, he married Marlena Kerr of Sydney, with whom he had three sons and a daughter. This was followed by a tour of duty in Vietnam during which he was awarded the Military Cross (MC). Jeffery remained convinced that Australia's participation in the Vietnam War was right. "I believe passionately that Vietnam was a just cause in the circumstances of the time", he said during a 2002 speech to Australian veterans of the war.
In 1972 he was promoted to lieutenant colonel to command the 2nd Battalion of the Pacific Islands Regiment. In 1975, he assumed command of the Special Air Service Regiment (SASR) in Perth and was then promoted to colonel as the first Director of the Army's Special Action Forces from 7 January 1976 until 22 October 1977. He was instrumental in developing the surveillance concept for Northern Australia and as Director of Special Action Forces he prepared the development of the Australian counter-terrorist concept and capability.
From 1981 to 1983 he headed Australia's national counter-terrorist co-ordination authority. In 1985 he was promoted to major general and appointed to command the Army's 1st Division. In 1990 he became Deputy Chief of the General Staff and in 1991 he was appointed Assistant Chief of the General Staff for Materiel.
Although he retired from the army in 1993, he is still considered the Honorary Colonel of the SASR, where he holds the ceremonial role of inducting new soldiers into the regiment and presenting them with their famous sandy beret.
Governor of Western Australia
In November 1993 Jeffery was appointed Governor of Western Australia and in June 1996 he was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC). He was appointed a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO) on 1 April 2000.
During his seven years in the post he made a number of public statements of his conservative views on marriage, sex and education. He received some criticism from the Labor opposition and sections of the media for appearing to take positions on political issues.
On the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, for example, Jeffery said: "Baser instincts are titillated in the television displays of events like the Mardi Gras, where the colour and spectacle of fancy dress camouflages a public display of simulated homosexual activity and the degradation of traditional religions in the name of humour."
He also said: "A British study found a direct statistical link between single parenthood and virtually every type of major crime, including mugging, violence against strangers, car theft and burglary. And the same is true ... in Western Australia."
Governor-General of Australia
Following the resignation of Peter Hollingworth as governor-general, the prime minister, John Howard, announced on 22 June 2003 that he had chosen Jeffery to succeed Hollingworth. He was formally appointed by Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia and sworn in on 11 August 2003, becoming the first Australian soldier to become governor-general.
Jeffery's appointment was generally welcomed, although there was some critical comment about the appointment of another Anglo-Australian male to the post and also some comment about his conservative views. A journalist wrote in The Australian: "Jeffery is Howard's perfect Governor-General. The ex-soldier is deeply conservative, steeped in the military and strong on traditional family values."
Jeffery made no apologies for his outspokenness and commented that: "I think I will be able to talk on issues and principles and values and standards quite comfortably as Governor-General." While in office, however, he kept a very low profile. Some journalists[who?] speculated that he had been advised to do so by Howard. Only 14 per cent of people interviewed for a newspaper survey in August 2006 recognised his photograph.
In 2007, in his position as governor-general, Jeffery was appointed as the Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Australian Army Medical Corps, succeeding the previous Colonel-in-Chief, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. It is expected that future governors-general will serve in this position.
Jeffery was the Chief Scout of Australia. Historically the Governor-General of Australia has also served as Chief Scout of Australia; the Chief Scout is nominated by the Scouting Association's National Executive Committee and is invited by the President of the Scout Association to accept the appointment. Jeffery was an active Chief Scout.
|Companion of the Order of Australia (AC)||Civil division (1996)|
|Officer of the Order of Australia (AO)||Military division (1988)|
|Member of the Order of Australia (AM)||(1981)|
|Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO)||(2000)|
|Military Cross (MC)||(1971)|
|Knight of Grace of the Most Venerable Order of Saint John||15 April 1994|
|Australian Active Service Medal 1945–1975||with MALAYA, THAI-MALAY and VIETNAM clasps|
|General Service Medal||with BORNEO clasp|
|Australian Service Medal 1945–1975||with SE ASIA and PNG clasps|
|Centenary Medal||(awarded 2001)|
|Defence Force Service Medal with 4 clasps||35–39 years service|
|National Medal||with First Clasp – 25–35 years service to ...|
|Australian Defence Medal|
|Papua New Guinea Independence Medal||(1977)|
|Vietnam Campaign Medal|
|Pingat Jasa Malaysia|
|Honorary Grand Companion of the Order of Logohu (GCL)||(2005)|
|Vietnam Gallantry Cross;||8th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (1970)|
- Patron of Engineers Australia (HonFIEAust)
- Patron of Australian Family Association 
- Patron of Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation 
- Honorary Colonel of the SASR
- The London Gazette: . 23 July 1971. Retrieved 12 May 2008. – Military Cross announcement.
- It's an Honour – Military Cross – 23 July 1971
Citation: Infantry – 8 RAR – Vietnam
- Australian Army Training Team Vietnam, Western Australia branch 40th anniversary reunion. Retrieved 15 May 2008
- It's an Honour – Companion of the Order of Australia – 11 June 1996
Citation: For service to the Crown as Governor of Western Australia and to the community, particularly through providing leadership in his commitment to the initiation and promotion of youth programmes to address contemporary social problems.
- The London Gazette: . 5 May 2000. Retrieved 12 May 2008. – CVO announcement.
- It's an Honour – The Royal Victorian Order, Commander – 1 April 2000
- Price, Matt (28 June 2003). "Governor-General's prejudices on parade". The Australian.
- Foundation News
- Courier Mail survey
- GG's new role, Army News, Edition 1167, 31 May 2007.
- "Chief Scout". Scouts Australia. Retrieved 15 November 2007.
- Kittel, Nicholas (1 August 2007). "A century of Scouts a reason to celebrate". 666 ABC Canberra (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 15 November 2007. "In his address the Governor General also explained his role as Chief Scout. "Really the Chief Scout tries to go around to as many scout groups as he can and say 'well done' to all who are taking part and to encourage a strengthening of the movement.""[dead link] Saulwick, Jacob (2 August 2007). "Scout and proud: life still a jamboree after 100 years". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 15 November 2007. "Scouts descend on tiny town for jamboree". The Age (Melbourne). 1 January 2007. Retrieved 15 November 2007.
- "Resignation of the Governor-General" (Press release). Prime Minister of Australia. 13 April 2008.
- Pollard, Ruth (13 April 2008). "Rudd appoints female G-G". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 13 April 2008.
- It's an Honour – Officer of the Order of Australia – 13 June 1988
Citation: For service to the Australian Army as Commander 1st Division.
- It's an Honour – Member of the Order of Australia – 8 June 1981
- The London Gazette: . 15 April 1994. Retrieved 12 May 2008. – KStJ announcement.
- Note: "Post-nominals within the Order of St John are not recognised." (As notified in the Governor-General’s media release of 14 August 1982.) Order of Wearing, Page 5, Note 3.
- It's an Honour – Centenary Medal – 1 January 2001
- It's an Honour – National Medal – 14 July 1977
- Order of Logohu
- "Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm Unit Citation to 8th Battalion". Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia. Retrieved 12 May 2008.
|Governor of Western Australia
|Governor General of Australia
Major General John Whitelaw
|Deputy Chief of General Staff
Position replaced by Deputy Chief of Army