Jamie Macmillan has flourished over the last few seasons, being elevated into North Melbourne’s leadership group, and playing consistent football.
With that side of his professional career in order, Macmillan has coupled the full-time nature of the AFL, with the time to complete his studies at the University of Melbourne.
Macmillan’s Bachelor of Commerce degree, and work with Dandenong Basketball Stadium and Ladder has led to him collecting the Education and Training Excellence Award, presented by La Trobe University.
Past winners of the award include Max Hudghton, Brett Burton, Jason Blake, Peter Bell, Tim Callan, Paul Licuria and Mike Pyke.
Macmillan has confronted a number of challenges along the way, completing a Microeconomics unit earlier this year. As things stand, he’s finished 20 units of study, and has plans to finalise his degree by the end of next year.
“I’ve really enjoyed the studies because they’ve taken my mind off footy, which can be exactly what you need at times,” Macmillan told Aflplayers.com.au.
“Microeconomics has been one of the most challenging units I’ve completed to date.”
Balancing studying multiple subjects and fulfilling his obligations on-field has been hard. Fortunately, he’s found the right balance, with the help of the football club.
“I started with one subject and then went to two. I eventually just found the best way to balance it out,” Macmillan added.
“I always pick a subject where I know that I can attend the tutes because I have to be there for 80 percent of the classes.”
“The footy club have really helped and are fine for me to miss the odd thing so that I can attend.”
“Scotty has always been pretty flexible.”
Macmillan is currently on target to reach First Class Honours.
Aside from his studies, Macmillan has grown a great desire to explore other roles, teaming up with the Dandenong Basketball Stadium, and also with Ladder.
The 24-year-old has a yearning to put into practice some of the key learnings from his course.
In order to gain a greater understanding of professional workplaces, and sports administration, both Macmillan and Shaun Atley have begun working with Graham Allen, who is the CEO of Dandenong Basketball Stadium.
“I did a couple of work placements at the Commonwealth Bank which helped given I’m studying commerce and finance. That has helped me to touch on the economics and finance side of things, so the opportunity came up to work in the sports administration side of things with Dandenong Basketball Stadium.”
“Graham Allen has allowed us to come out there a few times over the last month.”
“They’re a massive organisation with all of the courts they have and the events they run. Around 10,000 people go through that stadium on a Saturday, plus they’re organising SEABL basketball teams and WNBL as well.”
Macmillan also acts as North Melbourne’s AFL Players’ Association delegate, and through that he has teamed up with the AFLPA’s key charity partner, Ladder.
“Ben Mabon runs a couple of programs with Ladder out in Glen Waverley and Broadmeadows, so I’ve gone out there with him to help out in any way I can,” Macmillan explained.
“It’s been good to get out there and do something different. You really can take playing footy for granted a little bit. You wake up, go to training, get paid and go home.
“You go out and see other people who are just as happy, but they’re living in different circumstances and face their own challenges.”
“We’ve gone out and taken PT sessions, played chess with them and just spent some time with everyone.”
There’s no coincidence that Macmillan’s on-field maturation has occurred while his off-field education has extended.