Mick Miller an enduring legacy
Sadly, earlier this month we lost former Chief Commissioner and Life Member of The Police Association Victoria, Sinclair Imrie Miller, better known as ‘Mick’. He passed away at age 92.
Throughout his service as a member of the police force and his time as Chief Commissioner, Mick remained a dedicated member of The Police Association.
In 1987, the year of his retirement, he was admitted to Life Membership of The Police Association. Life membership is a rarely bestowed honour, it has been awarded 118 times in our 102-year history.
It is awarded to any person who has rendered outstanding service to The Association or its members.
It could have been written to describe Mick’s leadership.
Despite his position, Mick didn’t see The Association as an enemy, but rather an ally. The type of compassion and understanding he displayed for the welfare of his troops is what separates leaders from ‘people in charge’.
While he didn’t always agree with its views, he was receptive to the concerns raised on behalf of members and the reasons behind them.
His progressive attitude towards consultation with the Association saw him in his first years address many outstanding issues which had been raised by members. Requests which had previously fallen on deaf ears received a fair hearing and in many cases, necessary reform, under his watch.
He provided an unprecedented level of cooperation, to the extent that The Police Association was represented at his weekly Monday management meetings (known as prayers) with his commissioners. He was the first Chief Commissioner to do so.
Mick Miller was a compassionate, understanding leader who cared for his members to the extent of intervening personally on behalf of some who were in desperate need of assistance. To re-work a famous phrase, a true indication of Mick’s leadership could be found in how he treated some of the force’s most vulnerable members.
After his retirement, Mick often discussed contemporary issues with a succession of Police Association Secretaries. He retained a strong interest in the welfare of members and Association activities. Up until recently, he was a regular attendee at the annual Retired and Life Members Dinner.
As policing and police forces modernise and adapt to a changing world and different and diverging challenges, there are few things that endure; Mick Miller’s leadership is one of them.
Vale Sinclair Imrie Miller.
By John Laird