Skip to main content

Sir James Forrest
, 1978

by William Boissevain

oil on canvas (frame: 106.0 cm x 82.5 cm)

Sir James Forrest (1905-1990), second chairman of Alcoa, began his career in the Melbourne law firm of Hedderwick Fookes and Alston, becoming a partner in 1933. After the war, during which he served in the Department of Aircraft Production, he returned to his legal career. In 1950 he joined the board of Australian Glass Manufacturers, becoming its chairman three years later. Soon after, he became involved with the branch and principal boards of AMP, of which he was chairman and director respectively until 1977. For much of the same period he was chairman of the boards of the National Bank of Australasia and Chase-NBA. In 1970 he was invited to join the boards of Western Mining Corporation and Alcoa of Australia, the latter as chairman. He remained a director of WMC until 1977 and chairman of Alcoa until 1978. Aside from his services to mining, Forrest was a foundation member of the Council of Monash University, on which he served from 1961 to 1971. In 1970 he retired from Hedderwick Fookes and Alston after 47 years with the firm, but he attained his 50th anniversary there a consultant.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Alcoa World Alumina Australia 2005
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
Accession number: 2003.88