Martin Pollard, at the Heart of the Road Toll Success
From Richard Olive
When Martin Pollard was Dux at Marcellin in 1956, he had no inkling that in retirement he would have the satisfaction of knowing that, thanks in part to the work in which he had been engaged, over 300 Victorians every year, who would otherwise be killed, would still be enjoying life. Martin was the VicRoads’ lawyer who spent years at the heart of the development and implementation of the laws behind speed and red light cameras, and drink driving detection and prosecution, laws which saw Victoria leading the world in road toll reduction.
He had studied law at the University of Melbourne, becoming one of Marcellin’s first law graduates. His initial years in the law were spent with the Commonwealth Government, where his major achievement was to see to the replacement of old British shipping laws with modern Australian laws.
Martin has lived mainly in Melbourne, but spent three years in Canberra during his 26 years with the Commonwealth, before joining VicRoads 30 years ago. Also, following the success of his work on the Victorian road laws, he consulted to state governments in India on how they might achieve similar improvement.
Throughout his career Martin enjoyed the support of Mary, his wife of 51 years. They had six children, and now in retirement in Doncaster East they enjoy their 10 grand-children. He exercises the body with golf and the mind with a diverse range of interests, from genealogy to Linux operating systems. Of particular note is Martin’s and Mary’s ongoing devotion to their faith and to the parish of St Philip’s in North Blackburn, of which they were founding members.
Of all his teachers at Marcellin, he remembers most fondly Br Eustace, “A completely selfless and dedicated teacher who knew his stuff and went to no end of trouble to pass the knowledge on to his pupils, and to stimulate interest in an intelligent and compassionate manner.”
Thanks to Chris Roberts in Archives for supplying these great photos of Martin in his school days.