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Australian army uniform belonging to former Governor-General Major General Michael Jeffery #2013-0295

Khaki-coloured jacket with ribbons, shirt, tie and peaked cap.

History

Major General Michael Jeffery, AC, AO (Mil), CVO, MC (Retd) was born in Wiluna, Western Australia, in 1937. He was educated at Cannington and East Victoria Park State Schools and Kent Street High School. At age 16 he left Perth to attend the Royal Military College Duntroon. After graduating from Duntroon in 1958 he served in junior regimental positions with 17 National Service Training Company and with the Special Air Service Regiment (SASR) in Perth. He saw active service in Malaya with the 2nd and 3rd Battalions of the Royal Australian Regiment. He later served in Papua New Guinea and served a tour of duty in Vietnam as a company commander with the 8th Battalion, RAR. During his tour he was awarded the Military Cross and the South Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.

Michael Jeffery assumed command of the SASR in Perth in 1976, was promoted to Colonel and became the first Director of the Army’s Special Action Forces. From 1981-83 he headed Australia’s national counter-terrorist co-ordination authority as a Brigadier. From 1986 he commanded the Army’s 15,000-strong 1st Division and in 1989 he became the Assistant Chief of the General Staff–Logistics, then Assistant Chief of the General Staff–Materiel. He was sworn in as the 27th Governor of Western Australia in November 1993, a position he filled until 2000. He was sworn in as Australia’s 24th Governor-General on 11 August 2003. He was succeeded by Quentin Bryce on 5 September 2008.

His major interests in his vice regal roles were in the areas of youth, education, environment and food security. In 2012 General Jeffery was appointed the Advocate for Soil Health by Prime Minister Gillard, as well as Australian envoy to The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust.

General Jeffery’s decorations as depicted by the miniature ribbon bar on his jacket comprise (from top, left to right): Companion of the Order of Australia (AC); Officer of the Order of Australia (AO); Member of the Order of Australia (AM); Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO); Military Cross (MC); Knight of Grace of the Most Venerable Order of Saint John; Australian Active Service Medal 1945–1975; General Service Medal; Vietnam Medal; Australian Service Medal 1945–1975; Centenary Medal; Defence Force Service Medal with four clasps; National Medal; Australian Defence Medal; Unknown medal (black and white stripes); Papua New Guinea Independence Medal; Vietnam Campaign Medal; Pingat Jasa Malaysia; and Honorary Grand Companion of the Order of Logohu (PNG award). A separate oak leaf award above the name tag is the Vietnam Gallantry Cross, awarded to the 8th Battalion, RAR.

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Statement of values

The significance of this uniform jacket, shirt, tie and peaked cap is that they were worn by former Governor-General Major General Michael Jeffery during his term as Governor-General (2003–2008) and when he was Governor of Western Australia (1993–2000). They represent his sixty year military career, beginning with school cadets, through his service as an army officer with war service in Vietnam, to Commanding Officer of the Special Air Service Regiment, and finally to Commander-in-Chief of the Australian Defence Force as Governor-General.

The role of Governor-General is central to Australia’s Constitution as the person in that position represents the authority of the British monarch. At times, as in November 1975, the Governor-General has played a direct and controversial role in Australian politics, as allowed under the Constitution. It is important that the museum collects items such as General Jeffery’s uniform to allow visitors to better understand this important role.

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  • Australian army uniform belonging to former Governor-General Major General Michael Jeffery Detail 2Australian army uniform belonging to former Governor-General Major General Michael Jeffery Detail 2 —
  • Australian army uniform belonging to former Governor-General Major General Michael Jeffery Detail 3Australian army uniform belonging to former Governor-General Major General Michael Jeffery Detail 3 —
  • Australian army uniform belonging to former Governor-General Major General Michael Jeffery Detail 4Australian army uniform belonging to former Governor-General Major General Michael Jeffery Detail 4 —
  • Australian army uniform belonging to former Governor-General Major General Michael Jeffery FrontAustralian army uniform belonging to former Governor-General Major General Michael Jeffery Front —
  • Australian army uniform belonging to former Governor-General Major General Michael Jeffery HatAustralian army uniform belonging to former Governor-General Major General Michael Jeffery Hat —

Details

Width 580.5mm
Height 910mm
Medium Cotton; polyester; metal
Impression AUSTRALIA / THE ARMY AUSTRALIA / JEFFERY