• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: AWE6260

Hellyer, Jill

(1925 – 2012)
  • Born 17 April, 1925, Sydney New South Wales Australia
  • Died 27 December, 2012, GoulburnGoulburn New South Wales Australia
  • Occupation Author, Poet


Jill Hellyer was born in Sydney in 1925 to parents Harold and Ruby Hellyer. After the death of both parents and her brother Allan, Jill went to live with her aunts Elsie and Krissie, in Seaforth, New South Wales.

She attended North Sydney Girls’ High School and studied English under Huldah Turner, who had a great influence on Jill’s life. From age 11 Jill began writing poetry and as a young woman she joined the Fellowship of Australian Writers (FAW), later becoming secretary of the Sydney branch. In 1948 Jill married Conrad Stephan and together they had three children, Linda, Allan and Laurence.

Alongside Walter Stone (FAW president), Dal Stivens and Alex Sheppard, Jill co-founded the Australian Society of Authors (ASA). She was the Society’s first executive secretary, from 1964 until 1971. For her poetry, Jill won the verse prize in the 1963 Grenfell Henry Lawson Arts Awards and the Poetry Magazine Award in 1965. In 1969 she published her first collection of poems, titled The Exile, and the following year she accepted a Commonwealth literary fellowship and thus resigned from her ASA position. She published a novel, Not Enough Savages in 1975.

Jill was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 2006 ‘for service to literature as a poet and as a supporter of Australian writers through the Australian Society of Authors’.

Archival resources

  • National Library of Australia, Manuscript Collection
    • Papers of Jill Hellyer, 1944-2004 [manuscript]
  • National Library of Australia, Oral History and Folklore Collection
    • Jill Hellyer reading poetry in the Hazel de Berg collection [sound recording]
    • Jill Hellyer interviewed by Suzanne Lunney [sound recording]
    • Jill Hellyer interviewed by Ann-Mari Jordens in the Public lending right oral history project [sound recording]
  • National Library of Australia
    • [Biographical cuttings on Jill Hellyer, containing one or more cuttings from newspapers or journals]
  • The University of Adelaide, Barr Smith Library Rare Books & Special Collections
    • [Papers], 1964-1980

Related entries

  • Related Organisations
    • North Sydney Girls High School (1914 - )