Vale Air Marshal John ‘Jake’ Newham AC, RAAF (Retd)

Air Marshal (AM) Jake Newham (Ret’d) passed away on 27 December 2022.

Jake Newham commenced his Air Force career in 1951 as a pilot trainee.  He served with 77SQN in Korea followed by postings to No 1 BFTS, 3SQN, 2OCU, Commanding Officer 3SQN and ARDU, Officer Commanding RAAF Base Laverton and No 82 Wing.  AM Newham held a number of Staff Officer and Senior Air Staff Officer appointments before attending the Royal College of Defence Studies, London.  He returned as the Director General Operational Requirements and Chief of Air Force Operations before his appointment as Head, Australian Defence Staff, Washington.  On return to Australia, AM Newham was appointed the Deputy Chief of Air Staff before his appointment as Chief of Air Staff in 1985.  He retired in July 1987.  During this time he had sat alongside Leonard Cheshire at a formal dinner in New Zealand.

He was fascinated when Leonard related the story of his humanitarian work and how the Australian Association of the Ryder-Cheshire Foundations (AARCF) along with RCFNZ was largely responsible for financing Raphael in India.  Leonard Cheshire asked Jake if he could visit him in Canberra at which time Leonard asked him if he would take over from Dame Roma Mitchell as President of the AARCF.  He readily accepted.

Jake became the National President of (AARCF).  He succeeded the late Dame Roma Mitchell as National President in 1990 and was in turn succeeded by the late Don Sinclair in 2002.

Jake officially opened the Ryder-Cheshire Home at Ivanhoe in 1992.

He was an enthusiastic advocate of the concept of Klibur Domin in 1999 and encouraged the AARCF members to accept and support the project in Timor-Leste.

In Peter Newton’s words he said, ‘Jake was most impressive as the President of AARCF.  He promoted a co-operative approach to solving the many issues confronting the organization.  His strong support of the Klibur Domin initiative was indicative of his approach.’   RIP

Peter Newton and Peter Colliver








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