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

Graduated from the Royal Military College, Duntroon into Infantry serving operationally in Malaya, Borneo, Papua New Guinea and Vietnam, where he was awarded the Military Cross and the South Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.

Retired from the Army in 1993 and was appointed Governor of Western Australia until 2000. Post retirement as Governor, he established a not-for-profit strategic research institute in Perth – Future Directions International (FDI). 

From 2003 to 2008, he served as Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia where his key interests were in youth, education and food security. Upon his retirement as Governor-General, he accepted Chairmanship of FDI, Outcomes AustraliaSoils for Life, and the Australian Trachoma Alliance, along with patronages of a number of other not-for-profit organisations, including The Mulloon Institute.

In 2013, he was appointed the National Advocate for Soil Health by Prime Minister Gillard and continues in that role.

Born in Wiluna, Western Australia in 1937, he is married to Marlena and they have four children and 10 grandchildren; he enjoys golf, cricket, fishing, reading and music.


Our Board


Antony Coote AM, MBA


Tony Coote's family have combined farming and grazing with entrepreneurial business in Australia since 1840. Tony has continued this tradition, building business that creates surplus and capital for all stakeholders (employees, customers, suppliers, shareholders, community and government), as well as building natural capital that restores landscape function, builds resilience and delivers surplus for generations.

He started his working career as a “jackaroo” on farms, then completed a BSc in Boston USA, and later an MBA at the University of NSW in Sydney. He had a long career in the publicly listed Angus & Coote (Holdings) Ltd, whose core business was jewellery manufacturing and retailing with 2500 staff and 350 stores, mainly in Australia. He was the Executive Chairman for some years until the family sold its controlling interest in 2007.

Tony also served as President of the Australian Retailers Association and the Federation of Asian Retailers Association, and was on the Board of ING Australia for 20 years. He was made a Member of the Order of Australia for services to industry and the community.

His life long love of the land and nature led him to buy a small farm holding with his sister in 1968. Over the years, as it became available, he gradually purchased adjoining land to build the total land holding to its current 5700 acres. The Mulloon Institute will ensure that the restorative work that is being carried out on Mulloon Creek Natural Farms goes on, to be of benefit to future generations.

The Hon. Gary Nairn AO


After a 25 year career in the spatial sciences including as Managing Director of his own surveying mapping company, Gary Nairn was elected as the Federal Member for Eden-Monaro in 1996. His 12 year parliamentary career included being Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister John Howard with responsibility for water reform and as Special Minister of State with responsibility for e-government, Australian Electoral Commission and five government business enterprises. After leaving the parliament he has operated his own consultancy in the spatial sciences including as a consultant to leading company AAM Group.

He was the inaugural Chairman of the Northern Territory Planning Commission and a Board member of the NT Environment Protection Authority from 2013 to 2017; Chairman of the Tasmanian Spatial Information Council from 2010 to 2016; National Chairman of the Spatial Industries Business Association from 2012 to 2014; and has been the Chairman of the Advisory Committee for the Centre for Spatial data Infrastructure at Melbourne University since 2011. He was appointed Chairman of The Mulloon Institute in January 2016 following a number of years as a member of its Advisory Council.

Garn Nairn was appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia (AO) in June 2015 for his contribution to the spatial sciences, communities of NSW and the NT, Federal Parliament and disability support services.  
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Richard Allsopp

Richard, nephew of the founder, is an entrepreneur beginning his career in auctioneering; he opened his first business in 1997 with Rundles Auctions in Wagga Wagga, which then expanded into Dubbo, and finally Tamworth. It grew to become the largest regional, industrial auctioneers in NSW selling cars, trucks, earthmoving equipment and machinery for State and Local government, banks, finance companies and corporate clients.

He is based on a farm 40km SE of Wagga where he is restoring the landscape in a similar fashion to that at MCNF. 

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Charles Cupit

Charles Cupit is a director of Bedford CA, is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and a fellow of the Taxation Institute of Australia. He joined Bedford CA (then Bedford Titley) in 1996 and has been a director since 2002. Formerly of Yarwood Vane (now Deloitte), Charles specialises in providing taxation and business advice to SME's.

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Jim Guilfoyle

Jim managed Mulloon Creek Natural Farms (MCNF) for 23 years between 1974 and 1997. In 1988 he also formed his own farm management business and took on the role of farm management consultant across a range of farms in the region, managing both MCNF as well as farms for other landholders.

Jim left MCNF in 1997 to become General Manager and Director for Romani Pastoral Co., and was responsible for overseeing 250,000 acres of property ranging from the Liverpool Plains to the Riverina.

In 2009 he returned to the region and now splits his time between running his own property near Gunning, and sharing his experience and knowledge with MCNF and The Mulloon Institute.



Advisory Council

All Advisory Council members generously volunteer their time and expertise to lead and govern The Mulloon Institute.  

All Board Members are ex officio members of the Advisory Council.


Antony Coote AM, MBA

See Tony's details listed under Our Board.

The Hon. Gary Nairn AO


See Gary's details listed under the Our Board.

Charles Cupit

See Charles' details listed under the Our Board.

Richard Allsopp

See Richard's details listed under the Our Board.

Jim Guilfoyle

See Jim's details listed under the Our Board.


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Diana Cavanagh

Diana has inherited her father Tony Coote's passion for natural biological farming and the environment. With a background in floristry and trained at Constance Spry in the United Kingdom, Diana now lives in rural Southern Highlands, where she has brought up her three children and pursues her interests in natural flower culture, and gardens. Diana is committed to her father's vision for The Mulloon Institute and what it can achieve, particularly in the areas of long-term human health and nutrition.

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Professor John Crawford

John was Chair in Sustainable Agriculture at the University of Sydneywhen he joined The Mulloon Institute Advisory Council. He has left Australia to take up his current role of Scientific Director of the Delivering Sustainable Systems programme, Rothamsted Research, in the UK, but continues his involvement with The Mulloon Institute. He holds a BSc in Physics from the University of Glasgow and a PhD in Theoretical Astrophysics from the University of London. He has published more than 100 papers in international peer-reviewed journal articles with over 1700 citations.

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Emeritus Professor Stephen Dovers

Steve is the Director of the Fenner School of Environment and Society at the Australian National University, Honorary Professor at Charles Darwin University, and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. He has degrees in ecology and geography and a PhD in environmental policy and, in addition to undergraduate teaching, undertakes research in theoretical and policy dimensions of sustainability, institutional arrangements for resource management, science-policy linkages and climate change adaptation. He supervised more than sixty PhD students, and authored over two hundred research publications, including the 2013 second editions of the books 'Environment and Sustainability: A policy handbook' (with Karen Hussey) and 'The Handbook of Disaster Policies and Institutions' (with John Handmer). 

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Kate Dowling

Kate was a principal of the Barron and Dowling Property Group in Sydney for 12 years, specialising in the sale of prestige property in Sydney’s eastern suburbs and CBD.

She has extensive fundraising experience, including 16 years as the President of the Darling Point Committee which supports the St Luke’s Hospital Foundation. She has also been involved in fundraising for The Heart FoundationPrince of Wales Private Hospital and various schools around Sydney.

Kate has served as a Governor with WWF Australia for the last 28 years, using her expertise, influence and networks to help the organisation meet its conservation goals.

She is married to Jens Dowling and has two children and seven grandchildren.

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Christine Ellis

Christine has had a long and diverse involvement with natural resource management starting with the establishment of Landcare in 1990 while an adviser to the Minister for Resources, Sen Peter Cook. Since then she has worked on developing policies and programs on biodiversity, forest resources and climate change.  Christine has also worked as a senior communicator at Land & Water AustraliaGreening AustraliaConservation Volunteers and the Murray Darling Basin Authority. Her focus has always been how to turn the results of solid and rigorous research into products that can be easily communicated to landholders and other NRM practitioners. She was the inaugural Australian recipient of the Barbara Thomas Fellowship which supported her to work with The Nature Conservancy in the US on fundraising, strategic positioning, Board governance and training, and internal communications.

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Tony Hill

Tony teaches Holistic Mangement at TAFE Western, and coordinates and teaches courses in the Braidwood area. He is an accredited professional with the international Savory Institute and currently chairs the Australian Holistic Management Cooperative Project.

Tony’s background is in economics, policy making, regional development, ecology and biodiversity. He worked for the Australian Government for 20 years and has consulted on design applications for Cooperative Research Centres.

Tony has been involved in various organisations, including: Internet Society of Australia (President), Australasian Research Management Society (President), National ICT Alliance (Chair), Asia Pacific IPv6 Task Force (Chair), Hooves 4 Humus – Savory Hub (Deputy Chair), and Upper Shoalhaven Landcare Council (Committee Member). He has also established three start-up businesses: Capital Hill Consulting, IPv6Now and Illalangi Farm. 

Tony and his wife Jane live at Mount Fairy where they trade cattle and grow garlic on Illalangi Farm.

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Peter Howarth

Apart from a successful career in the property business, Peter established the largest polled Simmental herd in Australia and then purchased Wombramurra, at Nundle NSW, which was the largest Devon stud in the world. A Composite breed embracing Simmental Angus and Devons followed and he now runs the largest Black Simmental herd in Australia. At their peak the properties covered 30,000 acres.

Peter and his wife Judy took a great interest in the town of Nundle and invested much time and capital making it into a more sustainable town and a successful tourist destination.

In 1994, he was awarded an OAM in recognition of his work as the Founder of the Primary Club of Australia, which has raised over $5 million to provide sporting and recreational equipment for the disabled. Peter continues to be involved in a range of fund raising activities for a variety of organisations.

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Douglas Isles

Douglas Isles has over 20 years experience in Financial Services in Australia, the UK and Singapore and is currently Investment Specialist for Platinum Asset Management, a role he has been in since 2013, having previously spent over five years as Investment Analyst at the same firm from 2003-2008. Douglas spent the interim period in Singapore, where he worked for Standard Chartered Bank. Prior to joining Platinum, Douglas was an Actuary with the CBA having qualified as Fellow of the Faculty of Actuaries in the UK while working as an Investment Manager for Aegon UK. He has an MA in Mathematics from the University of Cambridge, and is a nephew of Tony Coote by marriage.


Science Advisory Council

The Science Advisory Council members give generously of their time and their contributions to direct and review The Mulloon Institute's research.


Emeritus Professor Stephen Dovers


See Steve's details listed under the Advisory Council.

Professor John Crawford

See John's details listed under the Advisory Council.


Dr John Field

Senior Lecturer

Fenner School of Environment and Society, the Australian National University

John has been involved with Mulloon Creek Natural Farms for over 20 years through his and his students’ interest in agriculture and forestry and the critical relationship that exists between plants (trees) and soil. He shares our interest in the utilisation of trees in agricultural and forest land management and in the "intangible values" of privately owned forestry and farm forestry including environmental services, capital value of land and aesthetic values.

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Dr David Freudenberger


Fenner School of Environment and Society, the Australian National University

David Freudenberger began his career researching long-term grassland and shrubland dynamics in Southern California and has expertise in herbivore digestive physiology and nutrition. He has worked with CSIRO Wildlife and Ecology researching rangeland grazing management in eastern Australia, and joined Greening Australia as Chief Scientist in 2007.

David’s research areas have included the impact of landscape fragmentation on woodland assemblages and other taxa, revegetation technologies, carbon sequestration, biofuels from native species, and utilising biochar in restoration work. David joined the Fenner School at ANU in 2012 where he continues to research applied restoration practices and lectures in the management of forested landscapes.

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Walter Jehne


Healthy Soils Australia

Walter Jehne is a retired scientist with a specialist background in soil microbiology and plant ecology and has worked in Australia and overseas including for CSIRO. He is very interested in catalysing urgent regional action by local communities and land managers to practically and profitably create on farm microclimates to offset warming and restore rainfalls and to draw down carbon from past emissions safely into our soils and ensure opportunities and stability for all.

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Professor Neil Mann

retired professor of nutritional biochemistry

RMIT University, Melbourne

Neil Mann was Chair of nutrition research, co-ordinating food science and human nutrition research projects, including investigations into obesity and diabetes as well as other aspects of metabolic syndrome. Professor Mann also has an active research interest in the evolution of the human diet and has lectured in nutrition, physiology, biochemistry and food science and food systems, supervised postgraduate students and published over 70 refereed research papers,over 100 national and international conference proceedings and several book chapters on nutrition and health.

Professor Mann has been Chairperson of the Nutrition Society of Australia (NSA) Professional Affairs Committee, Chairperson and member of the Nutrition Accreditation Committee, state president of NSA for Victoria for over 10 years, Trustee of Asia Pacific Region International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) for six years and scientific director of the International Diabetes Institute – Food GI testing program for five years.  He was also a Visiting Research Fellow at Oxford University, School of Anthropology for three years while writing a scientific text on evolution and human nutrition with Oxford University staff, which was published in October 2012.

Dr Michael Wilson

Director Environmental Monitoring and Evaluation

Murray Darling Basin Authority

Michael has been involved in researching, monitoring and evaluating river systems for 20 years. He has a PhD in aquatic ecology and as leader of an aquatic ecology group at the University of Ballarat (now Federation University) undertook critical early studies on the contribution of willows to the accelerated repair of degraded stream systems in Australia. His move to the Murray-Darling Authority led to a national role in river health assessment, policy and communication with a special responsibility for assessing the health of water dependent ecosystems in the Murray-Darling Basin. He has been involved with MCNF through his review of Peter Andrew’s work in the repair of the incision of the Mulloon Creek and continues to contribute a perspective from both science and government policy to the Institute’s work.