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Biography - Major General the Honourable Michael Jeffery

Major General the Honourable Michael Jeffery, AC, AO (Mil), CVO, MC (Retd)

Major General the Honourable Michael Jeffery, AC, AO (Mil), CVO, MC was born in Wiluna, Western Australia in 1937 and passed away on 18 December 2020.

He was educated at Kent Street High School and the Royal Military College, Duntroon. He graduated into Infantry and served operationally in Malaya, Borneo, Papua New Guinea and Vietnam, where he was awarded the Military Cross and the South Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. After command of all combat elements of the Army from platoon to division - including the Special Air Service Regiment - he retired in 1993 to assume the appointment of Governor of Western Australia, which he held for almost seven years. His major interests during his tenure were in youth affairs, education, environment and the family.

For his services to the State he was appointed a Companion in the Order of Australia, a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order and a Citizen of Western Australia.

On his retirement as Governor in 2000 he established in Perth, a not for profit research institute - Future Directions International (FDI) - whose object is to examine longer term issues facing Australia.

On 20 December 2000 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Technology by Curtin University.

On 11 August 2003 he was sworn in as the twenty-fourth Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia.

He and his wife Marlena had four children and seven grandchildren. General Jeffery enjoyed golf, cricket, fishing, reading and music.

A longer C.V. for Major General Jeffery can be viewed here.

Mrs Marlena Jeffery

Marlena Jeffery (nee Kerr) was born in Sydney in 1944 and spent her childhood in Manly. She was educated at Manly Primary School and Narrabeen Girls High School and as an adult studied at the Western Australian Secondary Teachers College in Nedlands.

She worked in advertising and as an air hostess before marrying Michael, and in subsequent years ran her own secretarial service.

During numerous postings around Australia, to England and Papua New Guinea, she successfully lobbied for better housing and conditions for army families and established pre-school centres at Holsworthy and Enoggera barracks.

Marlena was made a 'Citizen of Western Australia' for her work with charities during the years 1993-2000 when Michael was Governor of Western Australia. She was also appointed as Dame of Grace (DStJ) in the Order of St John.

Her sports are golf and tennis. Her interests include bridge, writing, Australian art, opera and reading. Marlena and husband Michael have four children, three sons and a daughter, and seven grandchildren.