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Vale James Fairfax AC

I extend my condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of James Fairfax AC, the former chairman of media group, John Fairfax Ltd who passed away yesterday.

Mr Fairfax played a major role in the growth and success of Fairfax Newspapers during his career and was an active director on the Fairfax Board from 1957 and chairman from 1977 to 1987. 

He was a prominent art collector and champion of the arts in Australia.  He is particularly remembered for his generous and ongoing support for the fledgling National Gallery of Australia for which he remained a life governor, enthusiastic supporter and inspirational leader. He was also a major supporter of the National Gallery of Victoria and the Art Gallery of New South Wales. 

Mr Fairfax leaves a legacy that includes donated artworks valued in the millions, which have contributed to the richness and quality of the collections of our leading visual arts institutions.

In recognition of his significant and sustained contribution to the arts and the community, Mr Fairfax was appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia in 1993 and a Companion of the Order in 2010.

He will be remembered for the remarkable contribution he has made to Australia’s media and cultural landscape. 

My thoughts are with his family and friends.

Media contact: Geraldine Mitchell | 0407 280 476 | Geraldine.Mitchell [at] communications.gov.au