Remembering Cole Miller (1997-2016)

11th January 2017

To mark the anniversary of the tragic loss of Cole Miller, the Water Polo community will come together at 11 am Friday, 13th January in front of the Chinatown Mall. The Memorial Service will centre around the tree where many came to pay their respects a year ago as the community dealt with Cole’s death caused by assault during a night out with friends.

Cole, who was 18-years old, had just finished school and was about to embark on the next exciting phase of his life. He was an outstanding young man and a talented Water Polo player having represented the Australian U18 team and been offered a Queensland Academy of Sport scholarship.

“Many Queenslanders, most especially his family, team-mates and the wider Water Polo community remain heartbroken by Cole’s death and there isn’t a day that he isn’t in our thoughts. The first anniversary is an opportunity for us to come together as a community and celebrate Cole’s life and remember a fine young man that was tragically taken too soon,” said Water Polo Queensland CEO, Robert Donaghue.

The Memorial Service will be part of several tributes to Cole’s memory, which starts on Thursday, 12th January with the first round of the National Water Polo League (NWPL). Renamed The Cole Miller Round, all teams across this weekend’s games will retire the number 10 cap and observe a moment’s silence in his honour.

On Thursday evening, the Brisbane City Council will light the Story Bridge, Victoria Bridge, City Hall and Reddacliff Place green to raise awareness for violence in the entertainment districts in Brisbane.

Cole’s team, the Brisbane Barracudas, will play the Hunter Hurricanes in the Inaugural Cole Miller Cup Match from 6 pm on Friday 13th January at the Stuartholme Pool. Club President, Tycho Buningh said, “Cole was in the prime of his life, a talented young water polo player reaping the rewards of his hard work and dedication to the sport he loved. He was in his second season playing at the elite level with the National League and he had a promising career ahead of him.”

“Cole and the Miller family are an integral part of our club and to have a round of the NWPL dedicated to Cole is very special and a great tribute from the sport he loved so much.” said Buningh.

To continue to raise awareness about the impact of violence particularly in our entertainment precincts, Water Polo Queensland has partnered with the Just Let It Go Foundation. The Foundation has recently launched a new safety campaign in the Fortitude Valley Entertainment Precinct, which targets 18-24-year-old patrons who are relatively new to the nightclub scene.

“Sport has an amazing and unique way of having a positive impact in the community and partnering with the Just Let It Go Foundation is one of the ways Water Polo in Queensland is working towards ensuring a safer environment for our young people,” Donaghue said.

Just Let It Go Foundation Director Simon Turner added, “The responsibility and onus is firmly on our young people to improve their social behaviour in our entertainment spaces. We as a society can communicate values and appropriate standards of civil behaviour, but unless our young people are listening and adopt societies advice they will continue to hurt each other.”

“Tragedy, such as Cole’s should not be the sole driver of social reform, this reform needs to come from an awareness within our younger generations that violence has no place in our society.”




Anica Bussell – Marketing & Communications Coordinator

E: [email protected]

P: 07 3367 1661


APPENDIXSummary of memorial service

Thursday 12th January

Evening – Brisbane City Council will light the Story Bridge, Victoria Bridge, City Hall and Reddacliff Place green.

7.30pm – National Water Polo League – The Cole Miller Round – Queensland Breakers v Hunter Hurricanes at Valley Pool.

Teams will hold a moment’s silence and retire the number 10 cap to pay respect to Cole.


Friday 13th January

Cole Miller Memorial Service

Chinatown Mall, tree in front of Councillor Vicki Howard’s office
11.00 am – 12.00 pm
Order of Service:
*subject to change
Councillor Vicki Howard to welcome family, friends, dignitaries and members of the public in attendance
Start of Memorial Service, led by Rev. Lance Mergard
Followed by
Members of Cole’s family who wish to share their memories
Followed by
Acting Premier of Queensland, Hon Jacklyn Trad
Followed by
CEO for Water Polo QLD, Rob Donaghue
Followed by
Friends of Cole who wish to share their memories and poetry reading written by Simon Daley
Followed by
Minutes silence led by Rev. Lance Mergard
End of service


6.00pm – National Water Polo League – The Inaugural Cole Miller Cup Match – Brisbane Barracudas v Hunter Hurricanes at Stuartholme Pool.