Edmund with his sister
Edmund with his sister 1885/86 enlarge

Edmund 1889/90
- enlarge


Edmund with his parents,
Natal, 1882 - enlarge

EDMUND MORRIS MILLER(1881-1964) was born on 14 August 1881 at Pietermaritzburg, Natal, South Africa. He was the son of Scottish parents David Miller, tailor, and his wife Georgina Agnes, née Morris. The family moved to Melbourne in January 1883 and settled at Flemington. Miller’s mother was ardent in her devotion to the Church of Christ, his father to liberal politicians such as W. E. Gladstone and Alfred Deakin.

After an early education at the local state school and a spell in his maternal grandfather’s boot workshop Miller attended University High School and Wesley College.

Edmund - Wesley College
Edmund (circled) - Wesley College - 1899



Reared in modest circumstances Miller was always a man of passion and ideals. His constant aim was the betterment of humankind. Prime among ideological influences guiding him on this path was that of Immanuel Kant, but Miller also responded to various philosophies of the years around 1900 that urged social action in complement to lofty thinking. As a fervent Australian nationalist, Miller worked first for Federation and then for a restructuring of Imperial relationships in hope that the Dominions would achieve full and potent status. As a librarian, employed at the prestigious Public Library of Victoria, Miller decried traditional, ivory tower styles, and instead urged that books be carried to the people. As an academic, he contributed to the establishment in Victoria of the Workers’ Educational Association, which aimed to bring University style teaching and standards to a wider audience. These ideals and energy he brought to Tasmania in 1913. (Notes by Professor Michael Roe)


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