James Alexander Forrest

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James Alexander Forrest upon receiving an honorary Doctors of Laws degree, 1979.

Sir James "Jim" Alexander Forrest (10 March 1905 – 26 September 1990) was an Australian lawyer, businessman and philanthropist.

Born in Kerang, Victoria, Forrest was educated at Caulfield Grammar School in Melbourne before studying an articled clerk's course at the University of Melbourne. Although this course did not end with him receiving a law degree, Forrest became qualified to work as both a barrister and solicitor in Victoria. His admission to the Victorian Bar was moved by both Robert Menzies and Wilfred Fullagar, and presided over by William Irvine, then the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

Forrest became a prominent lawyer, specialising in corporate law. He was a partner at the firm of Hedderwicks Fookes & Alston, which later merged to become Allens Arthur Robinson.[1] During World War II, he was a Flight Lieutenant in the Royal Australian Air Force, and shortly after the war took up several board directorships of Australian companies. From 1959 to 1978, he served as the Chairman of the National Bank of Australasia, and he served at both Alcoa Australia and Western Mining Corporation as Chairman and director respectively.

From 1961 to 1971 he was a foundation member of the Council of Monash University. In 1979, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by the university for service to the law, commerce and Monash itself. He was a board member of numerous charitable and educational bodies, including the Royal Children's Hospital, Scotch College, Scouts Australia, and an original member of the Victoria Law Foundation. He was also a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science from 1977 to his death, after becoming the fourth person inducted into the Fellowship by Special Election.

A portrait of Forrest, donated by Alcoa, now hangs in the National Portrait Gallery at Old Parliament House.[2] He was made a Knight Bachelor in 1967 for "services to the community".[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Allens Arthur Robinson (2006). Our history. Retrieved 5 March 2006.
  2. ^ John Howard (2003). TRANSCRIPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER THE HON JOHN HOWARD MP RECEPTION TO MARK THE OCCASION OF ALCOA GIFTING THREE WORKS TO THE NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY, OLD PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA. Retrieved 5 March 2006.
  3. ^ Australian Honours (2006). FORREST, James Alexander. Retrieved 12 June 2006.

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