Royal Military College, Sandhurst. Magdalen College.
He was schooled at Geelong Grammar School, at which he was dux of his final year. At the completion of his schooling, he moved to England to study classics at Magdalen College, Oxford. When World World War II broke out, Southey enlisted in the British Army, and following completion of training at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst he was commissioned in the 2nd Battalion of the Coldstream Guards.
After the war, Southey returned to Oxford, graduating in 1948 with first-class honours and a Master of Arts.
He also rowed for Oxford and was elected to the Leander Club. On his return to Australia, Southey joined the company William Haughton as a wool buyer.
With parliamentary preselection virtually assured, Southey"s political hopes where dashed after confidential memos he has sent to Prime Minister William McMahon, in which he called for several newspaper editors to be "straightened out", were published in a book Southey stood down as president in 1975, and did not seek election.
By that time he was managing director of William Haughton, as well as chairman of several other companies.
In 1978, he was invited to join the Australian Ballet as a director, and was appointed chairman in 1980 after resolving an industrial dispute and dancers" strike.
He became active in conservative politics, joining the Malvern branch of the Liberal Party. In 1970, he became federal president of the Liberal Party, where he managed leadership turmoil within the party after the election of the Whitlam Government in 1972 which saw many of Australia"s ties with Britain abolished.