Born in 1926, Raymond Martin (Ray) grew up in Melbourne and was educated at the University of Melbourne, the Australian National University and the University of Cambridge. An outstanding student, he received many prizes and scholarships. He gained two doctorates from Cambridge and one from the Australian National University, all in Chemistry. In the 1950s Ray lectured at the University of New South Wales until he was appointed Professor of Chemistry. He also worked in private industry during this time and was a visiting scholar at Columbia University in the US.
He was Monash University’s third Vice Chancellor, serving from 1977 to 1987. In that role he worked at bridging the gap between academia and industry. At the end of this appointment he returned to a Monash Chair of Chemistry there before moving to Canberra to work in the Prime Minister’s Department as Chair of the Australian Science and Technology Council. He was a Fellow of the Academy of Science. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 1987 for his services to science and higher education. In 1992 Monash conferred on him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa. In 2009 he was appointed a Life Member of the Churchill Trust.
Ray served the Churchill Trust in the roles of Director of the Victorian Regional Committee of the Churchill Trust from 1984 to 1992, Deputy National Chair from 1988 to 1994, National Chair from 1995 to 1999, Fellowship Director in 2000, and as National President from 2001 to 2005. He resigned from the Board in 2006. He was well respected for his friendly, engaging personality but also his strong determination to maintain excellence and objectivity. Churchill Trust National President Elizabeth Alexander, speaking at a Board dinner, said ‘Professor Martin gave over 23 years of dedicated and passionate service to the Churchill Trust in a number of appointments, including that of National Chairman and President. … We will miss his wise contribution to the affairs of the Trust.’