Obituary & Funeral Notice - John Higham OAM


Bar Roll No: 1254

It is with deep regret that the Bar Council informs members of the death of John Higham OAM, barrister and athlete, who passed away on Sunday at the age of 67.

Funeral: Thursday 31 Oct at the Boyd Chapel, Springvale Cemetery, 11.00am for an 11.30am start.

John came to the Bar within weeks of being admitted to practice in 1976 and read with the late Judge John Hanlon. He maintained an interest in athletics throughout his career.

John established a substantial Magistrates’ Court civil practice in the motor vehicle property damage jurisdiction. He shared chambers for many years with his friend and colleague Hugh Burchill.

John is remembered as scrupulously fair and honest. He was as intense about his advocacy as he was with his athletics interests, setting very high standards for himself and others. He was skilled in the objective analysis of the merits of his cases.

John was a four-time Australian champion runner (three times 800m, once 400m), he won a bronze medal in the 4 x 400m relay at the 1978 Commonwealth Games. He was selected to compete in the 1980 Moscow Olympics, but did not compete because of the Australian boycott. His 800m time of 1:45.7 is the 13th fastest all time by an Australian. He still holds the Melbourne University Athletics Club 400m record with 45.7secs.

John gave back to the sport he loved by coaching, leading the Victorian Athletic Association (now Athletics Victoria) (1997-2002), as President of Essendon-EMH (now Athletics Essendon) and as President of Commonwealth Games Australia’s Victorian division.

John retired from the Bar in 2005. In 2014, he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for his services to athletics as an administrator.

Deepest sympathies are extended to John’s friends and family.

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