Charles Massy gained a BSc (Zoology, Human Ecology) at ANU (1976), before going farming for over 40 years. This included the development of a prominent Merino sheep stud business (‘Severn Park’). Concern at ongoing land degradation and humanity’s sustainability challenge led him to return to ANU in 2009 to undertake a PhD in Human Ecology, which was completed in 2013.
CM has chaired and served as a Director on a number of businesses, research organisations and statutory wool boards, and involving garment manufacture, wool marketing, R&D, and molecular genetics. This also involved international experience in wool value-chain manufacturing and marketing. He also served on national and international review panels in sheep and wool R&D and genomics.
CM has had 5 books published (2 on Merino history with Penguin and Random House); one on the political destruction of the Australian wool industry (Breaking the Sheep’s Back 2011, UQP). The latter book in 2012 was short listed for the Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Australian History and also for the Ashurst Business Literature Prize. In 2017 he published the best-selling Call of the Reed Warbler: A New Agriculture, A New Earth. This book has become a talisman for the regenerative agriculture movement, and has won and been short-listed for a number of literary awards. Massy has also engaged in freelance journalism since 1977 across a range of subjects from mountaineering, ecology, history, sheep and wool, research management, plus fiction short stories and poetry. This includes a number of book prefaces. As well as still managing a sheep and cattle grazing property, CM still consults widely in the fields of Merino breeding, transformative change in agriculture, and in landscape design.