Where are they now – Michael Glenane (SPC 1967-72)
December 2, 2020
The College recently reconnected with Michael Glenane (SPC 1967-72) who has dedicated 47 years of his life to the police force and has worked in some of the world’s most dangerous hotspots, including Timor-Leste, Afghanistan, Iraq, Cyprus and PNG, to help control law and order. Michael shares his story as well as the memories he holds dear about his time and connections at SPC.
Where has life taken you since leaving SPC?
I finished Year 12 at SPC in 1972. I then joined the Victoria Police Force in February 1973 and remained there for 37 years reaching the rank of Detective Senior Sergeant. My last position held with Victoria Police was as the Officer in Charge of Melbourne Criminal Investigation Unit (CIU). In 2010 I joined the Australian Federal Police (AFP) where I am currently employed as a Federal Agent in their International Operations portfolio.
After graduating from the Police Academy in Glen Waverley I worked in the uniform branch at Collingwood, Fitzroy and St. Kilda. I gained a position in the CIU as a Detective in 1979 and worked at Richmond CIU and the Homicide Squad. Various promotions took me to other areas of policing including the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) in Melbourne and Adelaide, Officer in Charge of Ballarat and Melbourne CIU’s and the State Crime Surveillance Unit.
In 1980 I married Pam Canny and we have three grown children, Anna, Patrick and Eloise. Our grandson Henry was born in 2018 and he keeps us on our toes!
In 2001 I was seconded to the Australian Federal Police where I was deployed to Timor-Leste as part of the United Nations (UN) effort to control law and order in that country. I was based in Dili and Same. After this deployment I returned to Victoria Police. In 2004 I was again seconded to the AFP for a two-year period where I was deployed to Jordan, Solomon Islands and Bougainville, Papua New Guinea.
In 2009 I took leave from Victoria Police to again work with the UN this time in Dhaka, Bangladesh. I held the initial position of Investigation, Operations and Prosecution specialist with the Police Reform Program (PRP) in Dhaka. I then took over the role of Project Manager for this program. This position gave me the opportunity to travel throughout Bangladesh and to various parts of Russia to purchase equipment for the Bangladesh Police Service.
Whilst in Bangladesh I resigned from Victoria Police and at the end of my UN assignment I joined the AFP International Operations Portfolio. After initial training in Canberra, I was deployed to various parts of the world including Timor-Leste, Afghanistan, Iraq, Cyprus (United Nations Position) and Port Moresby, PNG.
In March 2020 I returned to Australia from Port Moresby, PNG. I am currently enjoying several months of Long Service Leave. I am due to return to work at the AFP Melbourne office in February 2021.
UPDATE: On March 12, 2021 I retired from the Australian Federal Police and in all completed 48 years policing – Victoria Police (37 years) and the AFP (11 years). To read more about the medals and awards that Michael received during his career, please click here
How is the coronavirus presently affecting your work and industry?
COVID-19 has presented major challenges to all Police services around Australia and the world. The AFP has put in place stringent measures to deal with this issue. One of these measures is the ability of selected staff to work from home and this will continue for the foreseeable future. In November 2019 I deployed to PNG as part of AFP International Operations. In March 2020 I returned to Australia. Prior to taking long service leave I was working at the AFP Southern Command Headquarters in Melbourne. I am due to commence my 48th year of policing in February 2021. Having turned 65 I may well retire!
Do you have family ties with SPC?
My father Michael (always known as Bernie) (SPC 1935-36, PY1939) attended SPC as did my two brothers Anthony (SPC 1973-78) and Shayne (SPC 1977-79, PY1982). My son Patrick (SPC 1998-2003) attended SPC also. My brothers in law Peter (SPC 1969-74), Philip (SPC 1979-84) and David Canny (SPC 1980-85), their eight boys and my son-in-law Leigh Searle (SPC 1994-99), all attended SPC so as you can see there is a great family attachment to the College.
What are your fondest memories of your time at St Patrick’s College?
In 1967 I very much remember being dropped off at the front gates of SPC by my father in his white Ford Customline! At this time, we were living in Bungaree and this first day of attendance at SPC was an exciting day for me. I had attended primary school at St Michael’s Bungaree and there were quite a few of my Bungaree mates going to SPC on that first day. A great friend to this day is one of those boys – Paul (Tich) O’Donohue (SPC 1967-72) from Leigh Creek.
The great friendships made at SPC cannot be forgotten. Boarders from around Victoria were a great bunch of guys some of whom I still see. I loved playing football for SPC and did so throughout my six years there. Playing in the First XVIII football was a great privilege. I fondly remember the ‘T’ Bone steak lunches the team had prior to the Wednesday Fist XV111 matches. These were provided by Harry Morris, the butcher who had a shop in Victoria Street, Ballarat. And who could forget the Socials at Loreto and St Martins in the Pines!
Which teacher from your time at SPC had the greatest impact on you? Why?
There were a few actually. Academically, Maurie Murphy taught me Accounting, John Elliott English, and Peter Farley, Luke Guthrie and Dan Sexton all played a role in my sporting life at SPC. As a group these men were great mentors, and I had the greatest respect for each of them.
How has your education shaped your professional life?
My education at SPC taught me that to enjoy a successful career meant hard work and the desire to improve oneself as time went on. As a member of the SPC Senior Student Council I gained great experience in how to deal with issues and people.
How has your time at SPC shaped your personal values and your family life?
My time at SPC taught me honesty, integrity and the knowledge that to achieve your goals there was no substitute for hard work. My education gave me the foundation to work with people from all cultures and also the ability to deal with difficult people. I am a great believer in treating people the way you would like to be treated.
If you could pass on one message to the students of today, what would it be?
Enjoy your time at SPC. Do not take your education for granted. Work hard to achieve your goals and if you do not gain the success that you desired do not give up. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice or question things that may concern you. There is a big world out there with many opportunities for an SPC boy!