MJD Foundation

RIP John MacMillan

RIP John MacMillan

John MacMillan

We are devastated that Associate Professor John MacMillan lost his battle with cancer in December 2014 aged only 55.  John has been with us since 2008, and his work with the MJD Foundation was ground-breaking.  He was a wonderful man, and we will miss him. Our thoughts are with John's wife Sarah and his children Ewen, Lucy and Kieran.

The MJD Foundation intends to continue John's genetic education work in his name.  If you would like to make a donation to the "John MacMillan Indigenous Australian Genetic Education Program" please follow this link.


Some of the important work that John did with the MJDF is listed here:

As part of John's journey with the MJDF, he was awarded the prestigious Rohan Nicks Russell Drysdale Fellowship.

The Weekend Australian published this article - Vale: John MacMillan - on 31st January 2015.

The Journal of Community Genetics published an obituary for John MacMillan written by Jorge Sequeiros on 26th March 2015. 

Messages for John and family:

From Professor Garth Nicholson (MJDF Patron)
"This is very sad news, I am shocked. Thank you Nadia for acting so quickly, so John's family can be told about our support for them. John has been a untiring support for the MJD community and it is very fitting to make an ongoing recognition of his work. He has been a long time inspiration and a fun person to work with. Please send these thoughts to John's family.
Garth Nicholson"

From Professor Jorge Sequeiros (Portugal)
"I make Garth's words mine (and those of previous mails), it is indeed very sad. I also recall him well as the local organizer for the WCHG in Brisbane, my first trip to Australia (where we talked a lot about MJD), and, very vividly, his genetic counselling sessons under the mango trees in Groote! Please do transmit my fonding memories to John's family.
Best wishes,

From Tony Wurramarrba AO (Chairperson, Anindilyakwa Land Council - Groote Eylandt)
"Very sad news. He has done so much for our clients not only on Groote but for clients across NT with MJD . My regards to his family.
From Tony, Elma and family." 

From Libby Massey (MJDF co-founder)
"Lucy, you don't know us but the whole MJDF 'family' feels we know you all. Your Dad was so proud of you and spoke of you all often. Words cannot describe the loss John's passing will mean to all of us - so we can only imagine your pain. The work he did was unparalleled, he was a remarkable human being and will never be forgotten. X" 

From Nadia Lindop (MJDF co-founder)
"We will be forever grateful for John's passion, commitment and determination he put into the MJDF. He has been with us since the beginning in 2008. His work will never be forgotten and we will ensure people know about the right way to conduct genetic education with Indigenous Australians, and it will be in John's name. Listen, talk to people - in the dirt, on verandas and under mango trees. But most importantly, keep coming back to communities year after year."

From Neil Westbury (MJDF Chairperson)
"This is deeply saddening news. John has made an extraordinary contribution to the work of MJDF for many years.
The Board will be meeting in February and be considering practical measures that ensure that the legacy of his ground breaking work will be appropriately honoured and not forgotten. Regards Neil" 

From Julie Wunungmurra (MJDF Staff member)
"I am so shocked and upset about the sad news on John, he was a great man.
Working with John has given me great knowledge about MJD. He will be much missed to carry on his work with me and the MJD Foundation.

From Jenni Langrell (Clinic Manager, Angurugu Clinic - Groote Eylandt)
"I have just seen that John has passed away this morning. We are shocked and didn't know he had been unwell. Please know we are thinking of you all and pass our sincere sympathy onto his family. What a tragic loss, such an amazing man. Will let our staff know this morning - they too will be very sad.

From David Daniels (MJD client) and Ellen Christian (MJDF Staff member)
"David has asked me to send his best regards to John's family. John is so well respected at Ngukurr/Urapunga with the mob who will never forget the work he has done to help them understand their sickness (and it's worked! David has even been (consistently) publicly stating he got the sickness from his mother which I think is HUGE!)."  

From Dr Angela Laird (MJD Zebra Fish laboratory Sydney)
"It is with great sadness that I read this. Thank you Nadia, Libby and the MJDF for organising a legacy in John's name because his contribution was so great and lasting. John, Sarah and family are in my thoughts and prayers.

From Associate Professor Emma Kowal
"This is terrible news, my family's thoughts are with him and his family at this difficult time. What a shocking loss this will be to his family and to everyone that benefited from his skill and good humour. I hope the family has the support they need and i'm sure it is a comfort that his incredible work with MJDF will be honoured into the future. Thanks for letting us know Nadia.

From Jennifer Baird (MJDF Board member)
"John's work was amazing. He has left a legacy. The work he did with MJD families will never be forgotten." 

From Tina Hebblewhite (MJDF staff member)
"Such sad news, my heart goes out to John's family. His light will shine on with all the amazing work that he has achieved with MJD patients. May he now rest in peace in a place where there is no more pain or suffering."

From Justin Brown (MJDF film producer)
"Very Sad. He was a very lovely man. My sincere condolences. '

From Gaye Schultz (Gove District Hospital Staff member)
"So saddened to read this, he was such a lovely guy. He will be greatly missed. RIP, John xxx"

From Anna Lalara (MJD client)
"RIP mate, thank you for all your work to help us effected by this horrible disease"

From Sally Lang (MJDF Volunteer carer)
"So sad to read this. A wonderful man with so much care and devotion to MJDF. You will be missed. RIP John."

From Janine Ryan (MJDF Staff member)
"Shocked and saddened to hear this news. What a great loss."

From Hilroy Mangurra (MJD Client)
"Missing this MJDs greatest team ever"

From Dr Christine Connors (GM, Primary Health Care - NT Health)
"Such shocking and sad news. John was a passionate and committed supporter of people with MJD, determined to ensure that the person, their families and their health professionals had clear information about genetic transmission and risks. His many trips to the NT and his dedication to improving outcomes will be remembered. Please pass on our sympathy to John's family from the Primary Health Care teams in Top End Health Services."

From Amanda McKenna (2008 Sleep project - sleep technician)
"I am shocked and saddened by the news of Johns passing. A passionate and compassionate supporter of the MJD community. My sincere condolences."