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Our History

  • Our History

From humble beginnings

It all began as a dream during WWII, while Bill Collier was serving with the RAAF. His goal was to run his own business and upon returning home, he did just that, establishing W.S & M.R Collier Engineers alongside his wife Ruth Collier, in 1946.

Operating out of a humble tin shed, the business started off small, offering welding services and machining repairs and manufacturing items such as grain silos, stock crates and trailers.

A true family business, Bill worked long hours, supported by Ruth, often with their young children in tow.

It didn’t take long for the business to grow, as it earned a loyal following from the local farming community, and in 1957, Bill approached Ron Miller to join him as a business partner.

While Ron didn’t have any engineering experience, the pair had known each other for many years and shared similar values as well as a history serving with the RAAF.

Deep in the thick of raising four young children, Ron and his wife Enid made the big decision to join the Colliers, and in 1957 Collier & Miller was officially established.

From strength to strength

Soon after Ron and Bill formed a partnership, the local region went through a significant growth phase as farms were released in the nearby Kooba district, forming the Coleambally Irrigation Area.

The business grew strongly, moving to a much larger site on Jondaryan Avenue in 1962 – where it is still based today.

From there, Collier & Miller began manufacturing harvesting equipment, including prune shakers, landforming scrapers and equipment for irrigation farmers. In the late 60s, the company moved into the sale of hydraulic components, fasteners and paint, forming the beginnings of its now significant retail division.

Many of Collier & Miller’s business values can be traced back to these formative years. Bill and Ron’s strong work ethic and their respect for each other and customers have become entrenched in the business’ long-term philosophy and have underpinned its ongoing success.

Expansion of an icon

Since its humble beginnings, Collier & Miller has continued to develop its range of products and services under the leadership of consecutive Miller generations.

In the 1980s, Ron Miller’s son Peter Miller joined the team. After several years working across all aspects of the business, he took on the role of General Manager in 1987.

During his time as GM, Peter Miller steered the business through a new stage of development.

Under his leadership, the business’ retail division grew significantly, undergoing expansion and renovations on five occasions.

Peter led the company through several acquisitions between 2000 and 2004 to purchase additional land on Harris Road, just behind the main Jondaryan Avenue site.

Peter also oversaw some of Collier & Miller’s biggest investments to date, including the construction of a 6000m2 engineering workshop, featuring four overhead cranes and a $250,000 plasma profile cutter.

In 2008, a third Miller generation joined the business, Peter’s son Chris Miller. Like his father, Chris spent many years learning the business before stepping up as General Manager in 2014.

Working closely with the senior team, Chris has led Collier & Miller through further expansion, including extensions to the business’ engineering workshop of a further 3000m2, completed in 2018, with additional extensions slated to commence in 2022. 

Chris has also overseen Collier & Miller’s machinery expansion into larger land forming equipment such as laser buckets, and foray into the cotton industry, as well as the exporting of machinery into international markets.

Collier & Miller today

Today, Collier & Miller employs more than 160 staff across a work site comprising more than 20,000 square metres.

Led by Chris Miller, grandson of co-founder Ron Miller, the business continues to grow and invest in its people and customers.

Over the decades, the Miller family has remained true to its commitment to delivering quality service and products, earning the business a trusted reputation within the local community and further abroad.

This is evidenced by the business’ long list of clients who have been loyal customers for decades, as well as many staff members who have been with the business for all or much of their working life.