The Kid from Norfolk Island – The Story of the Remarkable Alf Pollard

The late Professor Alfred Hurlstone Pollard is widely acknowledged as one of Australia’s most outstanding actuaries, having made particularly important contributions in the field of actuarial education.

The actuarial profession in Australia has much to thank Professor Pollard for. His legacy of establishing accredited actuarial education at Macquarie University has not only continued but also grown and we now have six accredited universities in Australia.

Professor Pollard was President of the Institute in 1955 and was awarded Life Membership in 1987 in recognition of a long record of distinguished service to the Actuaries Institute and the actuarial profession.

The Launch

On 12 March 2014, Professor Pollard’s biography – The Kid from Norfolk Island – The Story of the Remarkable Alf Pollard – was successfully launched at the Amora Hotel Jamison Sydney by former Prime Minister of Australia the Honourable John Howard (who contributed the foreword).

Also in attendance were the author Professor John Croucher, members of the Pollard family and invited guests.

President Daniel Smith, former President Professor John Pollard, Professor John Croucher and the Honourable John Howard made special remarks on the night.

About the Biography

Born almost 100 years ago in Melbourne, Alf Pollard was a truly remarkable Australian. He spent most of his childhood on Norfolk Island where his family leased a banana plantation. Despite having virtually no education in his early years, Alf’s tenacity and natural intelligence saw him top the state in the NSW Leaving Certificate and graduate from university with honours. He later gained a Masters degree and a PhD, and at age 23 became one of the youngest people ever to qualify as an actuary. A brilliant businessman and later Foundation Professor in Economic Statistics at Macquarie University, he founded the first university actuarial program in the world. Alf received many awards during his lifetime including an Order of Australia, NSW Father of the Year and a prestigious Doctor of Science degree. He served on many boards of many companies and helped save both the Sydney Eisteddfod and the Wesley Mission from bankruptcy. This warm and lively biography provides insight not just into Alf Pollard’s life, but also into Australian life from the 1920s right through to the 1990s.

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