image description

'S.I. (Mick) Miller Victoria Police Legacy Building'

On the 19th July, the VPL Building was dedicated by VPL Patron Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton AM in honour of the founding Chief Commissioner of VPL, Mr. S.I. (Mick) Miller AO QPM LVO. Mr. Miller along with founding members and former Presidents Mr. Bryan Kelly QPM and Mr. Peter Ryan QPM were present at the event. All 3 were integral in establishing VPL in February 1980, with the building being dedicated as the ‘S.I. (Mick) Miller Victoria Police Legacy Building’.

For many years since being established in 1980, Victoria Police Legacy (VPL) was accommodated in premises belonging to ‘The Police Association’ (TPA) and the ‘Police Credit Co-Op’ (now Bank Vic). In 2014 VPL purchased and moved into the ‘purpose acquired’ premises at ‘Louisa Terrace’, 71 Drummond Street, Carlton South. The idea of purchasing the building was to establish a separate identity from Victoria Police and as an important investment for the organisation.

Excerpt from: - ‘A Short History of the Victoria Police Legacy Scheme Incorporated March 2015 -November 2015” author Peter Macievic APM B.Sc (Applied Mathematics)

The tragic murder of Detective Senior Constable Robert John Lane of Swan Hill CIB on 13th July 1979 contributed significantly to the establishment of VPL. The Victoria Police ‘Lane Appeal’ was started to support Detective Lane’s widow and children and attracted donations from all policing organisations in Australia as well as from members of the general public and private enterprise. The appeal subsequently raised over $100,000. At the very least the death of Detective Lane heightened the need for a robust system to be put in place to support police members and their families. Chief Commissioner (Mick) Miller said; “The death of Bob Lane brings home to every member of the hazards and the reality of police work. We all identify with Bob Lane because what happened to him could have happened to any one of us”. 

As a result of the meritorious efforts of then Superintendent Peter Ryan and Inspector Bryan Kelly, VPL was formally established and commenced operation on 6th February 1980. Both Ryan and Kelly had a deep commitment in the late 1970’s to developing “welfare” schemes for existing police members such as the Police Credit Cooperative. In the course of carrying out this work they identified a void in the level of “welfare available to widows, widowers, and their families”. They discovered that when members died their families received little if any formal support from the department.

In a submission to TPA concerning the need for such a Scheme in Victoria Police, Kelly said; “If we are in doubt as to whether there is such a need in Victoria, I would ask you to think back about the families of deceased members. What do we know about them? Are we even aware that the Association remembers them at Christmas?”

It was while Ryan and Kelly were travelling on business in Queensland they were shown the workings of the Queensland Police Legacy Scheme (QPLS) which impressed them and subsequently led to the implementation of a similar system in Victoria. As a result of their visit they approached the Chief Commissioner (Mick) Miller and Deputy Commissioner Salisbury and received full support with regard to introducing a similar scheme in Victoria. Support for VPL was also obtained from TPA. Ryan said; “One stipulation Mr. Miller made was that Legacy should be wholly funded within the police organisation”.