Michael Giles has a long and proud history with the Greater Port Macquarie area – long serving retired Police Officer, local rugby player and now a lawyer with Blue Water Legal. Michael is giving back by sponsoring local sports teams and kindly donating a new boxing ring to the Port Macquarie Boxing Club.
You’re the owner of Blue Water Legal. How did you get into law?
It really happened by accident, but I primarily used it for promotional prospect in the NSW Police. I initially completed a Degree in Administration (Management) with Majors in HRM and Law at the University of Canberra. I worked 5 days a week and spent 2 days at uni, and it took me almost 7 years to complete part- time. When I finished that, I was promoted to Sergeant and took a lateral transfer to Bourke.
Apart from operational duties, another aspect of my duties was to respond to legal inquiries and complaints. As I was advising my Commander in respect of legal issues raised, I thought, “Why not apply to do a law degree?” So I did, and it was funded by the NSW Police.
I completed it in 1999 and never really thought that I’d become a lawyer. However, after my car accident at work in 2005, I was rendered non operational and medically discharged. The rest just fell into place because I was too young to fully retire, so I went into criminal law.
You’ve just donated $3,000 to buy a ring for the Port Macquarie Boxing Club. How did that come about?
I have known Dean Groth, one of the founders of the PMQ Boxing group, for some time. His children and mine used to go to school together. He was saying that he had some up and coming talents that were about to attend the national titles.
He also stated that they did not have a proper ring to train the boxers. I know how important it is to promote talent and abilities in young people, particularly when there are so many around who have idle hands, so I agreed to donate the money for the new boxing ring.
In any such case, boxing is only one of the sports that we sponsor in the wider PMQ community. There is also The Golden Lure Game Fishing Tournament, junior rugby league, Vikings Rugby Union, surf boat rowing, netball, touch football, to name but a few. We think it’s really important to give back to the community.
Given that you have kindly donated the ring, do you think we might see you inside it anytime soon?
That would be a definite NO. The neck injuries that I sustained in 2005 now preclude me from entering into any physical confrontation. But prior to 2005, I would have answered in the affirmative.
It’s quite a contrast as retired Police Officer and now a Public Defender. What have both experiences taught you?
I don’t see too much difference. Both sides use the same law, and the principles and elements of various offences haven’t changed.
What it comes down to is that the prosecution have an onus of proving the offence and the defence has to ensure the integrity of those elements of the offence. If they are not present, then the prosecution fails. If the prosecution has all of the elements, then it is a situation where you have to achieve the best possible goal for the client.
What are your plans for the future?
Just to go fishing a lot more and continue doing what I am doing now because I really enjoy it, and I enjoy working with our team at Blue Water Legal. Our office is a lot of fun, and there is great camaraderie amongst all of the staff. So while it is still fun, I’ll stay.
This article can be found in issue 87 of Greater Port Macquarie Focus