Jillian is a Samsep and Zagareb woman of Erub and Mer. Born and raised on Waiben, Zenadth Kes (Thursday Island, Torres Strait). Jillian’s heritage stems back to New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, and Ayreshire, Scotland.
Jillian attended Thursday Island State High School in the 80’s where she discovered her love for creative writing. It wasn’t until 2012 that she decided to start writing professionally.
Jillian’s first book Bakir and Bi was a winner at the 2012 Black&write! Fellowship competition with State Library Queensland. Bakir and Bi achieved international acclaim when it was chosen for the White Raven’s Catalogue produced by the International Youth Library in Germany. Published by Magabala Books in Broome, WA, Bakir and Bi went on to be displayed at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair in Italy, 2014.
In March 2021, Jillian published the sequel to Bakir and Bi, Bid Buai (Dolphin People) with Balboa Press, a self-publishing arm of Hay House.
Jillian’s insights and narratives of all that pertains to life is expressed through her moving poetry, that breathes from a deep place of self-discovery. Her poetry come highly commended by Judges of the 2018 Oodgeroo Noonuccal Poetry Prize, published in Overland Journal Magazine October 2018, and Borderless Transnational Feminist Australian Anthology.
A wife, mother, grandmother, mentor, and businesswoman, Jillian commits her craft and experiences to invest into empowering First Nation peoples of Australia.