08 Mar 2019

A special chat with Campus Manager Sam for International Women's Day.

Happy International Women's Day everybody! 

We are proud of every single person that works so hard to make our amazing Academy run every day. But today is a day where we take a moment to appreciate the amazing women that are the driving force behind the place that changes so many lives.


In light of this, we thought what better way to celebrate International Women's Day than to have a chat with our fearless leader and Campus Manager, Sam McLean.

Tell us a bit about your journey with AFTT?

I started at the International Film School Sydney in Rosebery back in 2008, fulfilling the role of Administration & Student Enrolments. With JMC Academy believing in a better future for the school, in 2013, we re-located to Surry Hills and joined forces with the Actors College of Theatre & Television.  Then in 2016, we took the ultimate collaborative leap, and became the Academy of Film, Theatre & Television (AFTT). 

In the Administration & Student Enrolments role, I loved working at the Front Desk and being in the thick of everything that goes on at the Academy – with the students, the Admin team, the Course Directors and the Academic Team. In mid-2016, I moved into a more back-end Administration role supporting the Course Directors and Campus Manager – while it was hard to give up the face-to-face student support role I had held previously, I loved getting really into the Admin side of things, looking at and improving processes, policies and procedures, and learning more about Vocational Education in general.

In mid-2018, I was offered the opportunity of stepping into the role of Campus Manager, and I haven’t looked back!

What does women’s empowerment mean to you?

It doesn’t apply only to women – people empowerment – to me it means having the confidence to follow your own path while supporting others and being supported in return.

Who are some of your female inspirations?

I’m supported, and inspired by many amazing women (and men) – at home, at work.
But can’t go past J K Rowling – I’m a massive Harry Potter fan!  She’s an imaginative and smart writer who has invited us to escape with the brave, bold and diverse characters she has created.

Are there any mottos that you live by?

Be happy.  Do what makes you happy.

How do you define success?

To be able to hold your head high in whatever you do.  Staying true to yourself and knowing that you always put the maximum effort in.

What excites you the most about working at AFTT?

The Community.  The collaboration. The diversity.   The challenges.  The possibilities.

With students or even prospective students in the early days of enquiring about the Academy, I love seeing them ‘Be Fearless’ in pursuit of their dreams – following their passions and putting the hard work in to form a career in an industry that they love. 

Having an Academic Team filled with Industry-active professionals who are so generous in sharing their experiences and skills and knowledge. And then behind the scenes, I love working with people who are passionate about what they do and their strive for continuous improvement – from getting excited about a spreadsheet (that’s usually me!), to building up the portal and new workflow documents (Kim), to taking risks and trying new things. I’m excited to see how AFTT will further evolve in the coming years, and I look forward to continuing being a part of it.

You’ve done such an amazing job throughout all of your roles at AFTT and are obviously a loved figure in the AFTT community, what advice do you have for any up and coming women that are looking to take a similar path to you?

Whether you’re leading a team, being led by a Team Leader, or being part of a team - work hard, do your best, be honest, and love what you do.

AFTT is proud to have someone as amazing as Sam leading the charge for us and making sure the Academy is running smoothly, effectively and providing all of our students the best environment possible to chase their dream careers! 

Thank you Sam and all the other amazing staff at AFTT!