3 September 2020
On 28 August 2020 the former Governor of Queensland and distinguished Australian diplomat, the Honourable Penelope Wensley AC, was announced as the next National Soils Advocate by the Prime Minister, the Honourable Scott Morrison MP. The first national Soils Advocate was the former Governor-General, Major General Michael Jeffery, AC, AO (Mil), CVO, MC (Retd). He made an impact by changing attitudes regarding sustainable practices to improve soil health—farmers are now more willing to talk about regenerative agriculture and Ministers more mindful of implementing policies that support healthy landscapes. General Jeffery was highly influential and respected in the role, only stepping aside due to ill health. Ms Wensley has held many leadership roles, including Patron of Soil Science Australia since 2010. Ms Wensley has a long-held interest and substantial experience in natural resource management, environmental and sustainable development matters. She has achieved national and international recognition for her contribution to environmental policy development and for promoting environmental knowledge and awareness, including as State Governor for Queensland and Australia’s Ambassador for the Environment. Penny met with the Co-ordinator General Shane Stone, Drought and North Queensland Floods at the Agency Headquarters Canberra City to discuss her new role, meet staff and the Agency management team.