Bob Miller and AACaPS
Bob was one of the founding members of AACaPS, or as it was then the Australasian Association for the Study of the Socialist Countries (AASSC), when the organisation was established under Harry Rigby’s guidance in the mid-1970s. Bob was always a full and positive participant in the association’s activities. He served as the president, was a long-time member of the executive, and was active in the production of the newsletter that characterised the association’s early decades. Bob was a permanent fixture at the biennial conferences, always giving papers, commenting on the presentations others gave, and adding his wisdom to the conduct of the association’s general meetings. His papers, many of which were on Yugoslavia but he also wrote on the USSR, were always solidly researched and usually provided a sound basis for discussion and disagreement. Bob liked nothing more than involvement in such discussion, and when disagreements arose, Bob always engaged in them in a robust fashion. He would vigorously make his points and defend his positions, but he always remained within the bounds of respectful scholarly discourse; he was known for the assistance he gave to younger scholars. Bob’s presentations were usually characterised by a sardonic humour, fuelled by his objection to the authoritarian nature of the systems he studied, and he was a never-ending source of “Radio Armenia” jokes. Conference sessions have been the poorer since his health problems prevented him from attending.