The Honourable Penelope Wensley to champion the wealth of our golden soil

7 September 2020
  • The Hon Penny Wensley AC has been appointed as the National Soil Advocate from 28 August 2020.
  • This appointment reaffirms the Government’s commitment to the sustainable management of soils for the best possible agricultural and environmental outcomes.

Agriculture Minister David Littleproud says he’s looking forward to digging in with new National Soils Advocate the Hon Penelope Wensley AC to help grow farming’s sustainable future.

Ms Wensley will continue the great work and international leadership of our first National Soils Advocate, Major General the Hon Michael Jeffery, AC, AO (Mil), CVO, MC (Retd). 

“The reappointment of a National Soil Advocate reinforces the Australian Government’s recognition of the critical role soil plays in agricultural productivity, environmental resilience and the health and wellbeing of all Australians,” Minister Littleproud said.

“This will build on the many legacies the first National Soil Advocate has given Australia as he retires from the role after establishing it eight years ago.

“It is with great respect and gratitude that I thank Major General Jeffery for his leadership, dedication and service to Australia.

“The work must continue, and it is a great pleasure to welcome Ms Wensley to the role.

“With Ms Wensley’s roots in the fertile soils of Toowoomba, along with international diplomacy and state governance, there is no doubt she will continue the great work of General Jeffery to protect, maintain and restore the health of Australia’s soil.

“Ms Wensley is no stranger to leadership on soil matters as the patron of Soil Science Australia since 2010, Ambassador for the Environment, and as Australia’s Ambassador to the UN for many years. She was also instrumental in establishing the International Year of the Soil in 2015.

“Improved sustainable soil management will be vital if we are to grow agriculture to a $100 billion industry by 2030.”

Fast Facts

  • The Australian Government is leading the development of a National Soils Strategy in consultation with state and territory governments, the Office of the National Soil Advocate, scientists, landcare and grower groups and other stakeholders.
  • As part of the consultation process, more than 200 stakeholders have participated so far in online workshops to help guide the strategy and provide the best outcome for all of Australia.
  • A Have Your Say survey is now open to allow all Australians to have input into the strategy. For more details visit