Our resident Neville Jackson shares his life story


Written by St Ives resident Neville Jackson MBE TD*, Journalist, PR consultant and Airborne soldier.

Born in Yorkshire but raised on Tyneside where he was proud to be an “Adopted Geordie”.  His call-up for National Service was deferred until he was 21 in 1953 (Coronation Year), so that he could complete his qualifications as a journalist.  He chose to join Airborne Forces, where he later served in its Reserve for 32 years.  He came to Australia in 2007 and became a dual citizen. Newspaper Journalist. 10 years with Northern Press Group, UK, specialising in industrial and political affairs.

Television Journalist. 10 years in Tyne Tees Television as, successively: reporter (including Northern correspondent for national ITN); news editor; head of news and current affairs; executive producer of documentaries/talks programs; and Assistant Program Controller. Started long-running Face the Press network series with the first TV interview with Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. Helped to establish a place for ITV in European Broadcasting Union with series of live broadcasts from Sweden.

National Health Service Executive. For 19 years Head of Corporate Affairs in the North-East of England. Media spokesman. Helped ministers with communications element of major National Health Service reforms.

Public Relations Consultant. Took early retirement from the public service to run a PR consultancy in the 1990s for MPs and Peers at Westminster. Consultant to Rampton High Security Hospital. Visiting lecturer on public relations at York and Leeds universities.

Normandy Landings Memorial Project. Representing British Airborne Forces, and in liaison with British Embassy Paris, worked with French authorities 1996-2000 to create the Memorial in Normandy to the 6th Airborne Division. Planning included the re-location to a land site of the D-Day-famous Pegasus Bridge and building a purpose-designed museum. Assisted international planning of the Memorial’s opening by HRH Prince of Wales in 2000. Made MBE.

Africa HIV/AIDS Project 2002. Employed by Barclays Bank (Africa Group) as their HIV/AIDS Project Manager.  Firstly, to introduce in-house HIV treatment and education programs across Southern Africa and, secondly, to stimulate formation of consortiums of multi-national companies to fight the disease threatening to destabilise economies. Liaison with African government agencies, medical services and the media.