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Major General the Honourable

Michael Jeffery

Jeffery Michael 030238DI-002.jpg
24th Governor-General of Australia
In office
11 August 2003 – 5 September 2008
Monarch Elizabeth II
Prime Minister John Howard
Kevin Rudd
Preceded by Peter Hollingworth
Succeeded by Dame Quentin Bryce
28th Governor of Western Australia
In office
1 November 1993 – 17 August 2000
Monarch Elizabeth II
Premier Carmen Lawrence
Richard Court
Preceded by Sir Francis Burt
Succeeded by John Sanderson
Personal details
Philip Michael Jeffery

12 December 1937 (1937-12-12) (age 82)
Wiluna, Western Australia
Spouse(s) Marlena Kerr
Children 4
Profession Military
Military service
Allegiance Australia
Branch/service Australian Army
Years of service 1955–1993
Rank Major General
Commands Deputy Chief of the General Staff (1990)
1st Division (1986–88)
1st Brigade (1983–84)
Special Air Service Regiment (1976–77)
2nd Battalion, Royal Pacific Islands Regiment (1974–75)
Battles/wars Malayan Emergency
Vietnam War
Awards Companion of the Order of Australia
Commander of the Royal Victorian Order
Military Cross

Major General Philip Michael Jeffery AC, CVO, MC (born 12 December 1937) is a retired senior Australian Army officer who was the 24th Governor-General of Australia, serving from 2003 to 2008, and the 30th Governor of Western Australia, serving from 1993 to 2000.

From Perth, Jeffery graduated from the Royal Military College, Duntroon, and served in the Malayan Emergency and the Vietnam War, being awarded the Military Cross during the latter conflict.

He was at various stages commander of the Special Air Service Regiment and the 1st Division, and subsequently Deputy Chief of General Staff, before retiring from active service in 1993. After serving for seven years in the equivalent viceregal role in Western Australia, Jeffery was appointed governor-general in 2003, following the resignation of Peter Hollingworth. He was the first career Australian Army officer to hold the position, and was succeeded by Dame Quentin Bryce.


Jeffery was born in 1937 in Wiluna, Western Australia, and he was educated at Cannington, East Victoria Park State Schools, and Kent Street High School. When he was 16 years old, he left Perth to go to the Royal Military College, which was Duntroon. After he graduated there in 1958, he went to Malaya in 1962 for a special service with the 2nd and 3rd Battalions of the Royal Australian Regiment. In 1965, he was seconded to go to the British SASR (Special Air Service Regiment) for a tour in Borneo. Then he returned to Australia as the leader of the SASR in Perth. From 1966 to 1969, he worked in Papua New Guinea with the 1st Battalion. He married Marlena Kerr, who lived in Sydney during this work. After that, in 1972, he was chosen to go to the British Army Staff College at Camberley. Then he was chosen as the person to help with the 2nd Battalion in Wewak PNG. In 1976, he became the commander of the SASR and was appointed as the member of the order in Australia. He was also chosen to attend the Royal College of Defence Studies in London in 1985.

From 1986, he became the commander of the Army's 1st Division. In June 1988, he even became the Officer of the Order of Australia for his services to the Army, and in 1989, he became the Assistant Chief of the General Staff.

In January 1990 he became the Chief of the General Staff, and he was responsible for the Army. Later in 1991 he became appointed as the Assistant Chief of the General Staff for Material, which also included taking care of the Army equipment and building projects. On the first of November 1993, he was sworn in as the 27th governor of Western Australia, and he also became a Companion of the Order of Australia, until 2000. General Jeffery's interests were about young people, education, environment, and national security. Also, the Queen made him the Prior for Australia, and a Knight of Justice of the Order.

He and his wife Marlena have seven grandchildren, three sons, and a daughter. His hobbies are listening to music, reading, golf, and fishing.

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