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practitioner (GP) Dr
Alan Miller has retired
after 32 years of serving
the Waikerie and district
During his career Dr Miller
delivered over 1000 babies, per-
formed hundreds of appendix
operations and many other types
of operations, and much more.
He spent hundreds of hours
working on weekends and after
hours at the hospital, spending
countless hours away from his
The 63-year-old said his last
goodbyes to patients, staff and
colleagues before he left the
Waikerie Medical Centre for the
last time on Friday.
Dr Miller said his last day
at work was “just like a normal
day” and he saw his usual pa-
“My appointment book had
the normal number of patients
I see throughout a day, so it was
business as usual, and a regular
day at work,” Dr Miller said.
Taking an afternoon tea
break in the Waikerie Medical
Centre lunchroom on his last
day, Dr Miller and wife Hilary,
reminisced with other doctors
and staff, and told The River
News how they chose Waikerie
as the place they would settle
Born and bred in Casterton,
in Victoria, Dr Miller complet-
ed his schooling and attended
Monash University, afterwards
completing his internship at
“I spent some time at Broken
Hill and did some training at
Modbury Hospital in the early
years of my career, but it was
while living and working in
Mildura Hilary and I fell in love
with the River Murray,” he said.
“At Mildura we had grown to
love the river lifestyle.
“We thought Waikerie was
such a pretty town with its
jacaranda-lined streets, and it
had a river.
“When a consultant by the
name of Denes Marantos men-
tioned a position was available
in Waikerie, I applied for the job
and was successful.
“We decided Waikerie would
be our place of employment,
home, and the place we would
raise our family.
“My wife Hilary and I have
raised our three children, Paige,
Warrick and Aaron in the Waik-
erie community, and could not
have wished for a better envi-
ronment in which to do so.”
On August 19, 1985, Dr Miller
started his medical career in
Dr Miller said his job had
changed over the years at Waik-
erie, with some surgeries now
moving to Berri Hospital.
“We have fewer visiting sur-
geons now, and mobile phones
changed how we work,” he said.
“Before mobile phones, when
we were on call, we had to stay
near a phone, then we had a
beeper, where we could go out
to a short radius, and if the
beeper went off, we had to get
to a phone.
“We deliver less babies as the
number of young families has
reduced in the region, with the
younger generation leaving the
town for work.
“We now have an ageing
population and our patients are
a different demographic.”
In the past Dr Miller said
Waikerie doctors did a lot of re-
trievals at serious accidents and
would escort patients in the am-
bulance to Adelaide if required.
“These days helicopters
attend serious accidents and we
have a retrieval service.
“We have a busy section of
the Sturt Highway near Waik-
erie and we need the skills to
attend accident scenes.”
On one occasion during an
extreme weather event when
Waikerie received eight inches
of rain, Dr Miller was called in
as a pregnant woman was going
into labour at hospital.
“I was driving to the hospital
on D Channel Road and water
went right over the bonnet of
my car and it broke down,” Dr
“I ended up walking in the
pouring rain to the hospital and
when I arrived staff would not
let me in as they didn’t recog-
nise me all soaking wet.
“Eventually they did and
today that baby is now in his
To come up with a retire-
ment date was not an easy task
for the doctor.
“It took me a long time to set
my retirement date as it was a
big decision,” he said.
Waikerie Medical Centre’s
Dr Ken Wanguhu congratulated
Dr Miller on his retirement and
said he was “one of a kind”.
“They don’t make doctors
like Dr Miller anymore,” Dr
“There are not many with
his procedural skills and expe-
“He is one of a few doctors
who has managed to achieve
the best work/life balance I
“He has made his transition
into retirement seamless at the
medical centre by taking on less
work and phasing out gradually.
“We wish him all the best in
Dr Miller said he was look-
ing forward to a change of scen-
ery, but it will take a while to
sink in that he has retired.
“It will take a while to adjust
to not having a roster, and being
able to sleep all night, while no
more early starts will be hard to
get used to,” he said.
“I plan on spending time
with my grandchildren, flying
my plane I built 22 years ago,
fixing my motorbike and cars,
and completing my shed full of
Dr Miller hangs up
ON his last day
on the job at
Centre, Dr Alan
Miller, with wife
back at his 32
years of service
as he moves
LOXTON Waikerie council will foot
a $15,000 bill to fix the poor television
service in a local housing estate,
following the results of a public survey.
Issues with Waikerie’s Corowa Estate
television service – which allows residents
to access Adelaide TV channels – were
raised in council’s September meeting.
A survey was sent to all 94 properties
within the estate in late September, with a
53 per cent response rate recorded.
Out of the 50 respondents, 34 reported
using the service, with 16 residents confirm-
ing reception issues.
Losing picture, signal drop-outs, pixila-
tion and loss of channels were among the
issues reported by residents.
District Council of Loxton Waikerie
director of infrastructure Tim Tol told The
River News that council resolved to fix the
antenna and other infrastructure by early
“We will get onto this as soon as possible,
but timing will be dependent on contractor
availability,” he said.
“A service charge will be considered by
council as part of the 2018/19 annual busi-
“We are about to spend $15,000, which
is the first expenditure on the TV antenna
service for eight years.
“As a very rough estimate, it costs about
$1500 to $2000 per year to provide the ser-
Survey comments revealed multiple resi-
dents felt they should incur no additional
charges if the service continues.
“This service was part of the reason we
built here in the first place,” a resident said.
“I believe an obligation of council is
to provide the service. Plus, it is already
funded in my council rates.”
Currently, 18 allotments in the estate
have an encumbrance that prevents a TV
antenna being erected.
Mr Tol said council is “not looking to
alter or remove any encumbrances at this
“At this stage no decision has been made
to remove the service,” he said.
“Council does want us to investigate the
expected life of the infrastructure, with a
view to identify a potential end date of the
TV antenna service.”
Council channels funds to fix TV reception
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