Sir Leslie Martin was an eminent physicist who became a key higher education adviser to the Menzies government.
He was Lecturer and Associate Professor in Natural Philosophy, and then Professor of Physics at the University of Melbourne (1927-1959). After leaving the University of Melbourne in 1959, he became Chairman of the Australian Universities Commission, a position he held until 1966.
During this time the Commission oversaw a rapid expansion of Australian higher education, including the commencement of five new universities. In 1961, he became Chairman of a major inquiry into the future of Australian higher education - the Committee on the Future Development of Tertiary Education in Australia - which became known as the Martin Committee.
After leaving the AUC, Sir Leslie became the first Dean of the Faculty of Military Studies at the Royal Military College Duntroon in 1967. He retired in 1971. The College established the Sir Leslie Martin Prize, which has been awarded every year since 1985, and from 1986 by the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA). The prize is awarded for 'distinguished performance by a First Year Officer Cadet in First Year Physics' from all streams, that is, all Physics, Engineering and Arts students who take Physics.
Among his many other posts was Commissioner of the Australian Atomic Energy Commission (1958-1968). Leslie Martin was knighted in 1957 to honour his outstanding contributions to science.
Read more about Professor Sir Leslie Harold Martin and his outstanding achievements on the National Library of Australia's Trove website