Jill Stark is well known for her campaigning, award-winning journalism.

With a passion for human rights and social justice, she is a fierce advocate for equality and a strong believer in the power of storytelling as a vehicle for social change.

During her decade on staff at The Age and Sunday Age, Jill put compassion and integrity at the heart of her reporting as a health reporter and senior writer. She continues to provide incisive social commentary through her writing in The Guardian, The New Daily, The Saturday Paper, The Age and Sydney Morning Herald, and with regular appearances on ABC Radio Melbourne and Radio National.

Jill has a proud history of using her platform to shine a light on injustice and give voice to the voiceless. In 2014, she was named Straight Ally of the Year at the Globe Melbourne awards, recognising her extensive media advocacy for the LGBTI community

Her championing of inclusion also led to her winning a Victorian Sport Award in 2012 for her work highlighting homophobia in football. It followed a series of articles kick-started by her exclusive profile of Jason Ball, the first openly gay Australian Rules footballer to come out at any level of the sport, which was seen as a game changer and prompted a seismic shift in AFL policy on LGBTI inclusion.

In 2008, and again in 2011, Jill won the National Drug and Alcohol Awards media excellence award for her reporting on Australia’s binge drinking crisis, recognising a body of work that spanned more than 50 articles in a series which forensically examined our nation’s love affair with booze.

Jill is also a passionate mental health advocate and has written extensively on the gaps in the system, Australia’s suicide epidemic and the complexities of the human condition. She was a long-term member of the Mindframe Media Advisory committee which encourages more responsible reporting of mental illness.

"Jill told my story, and the stories of so many LGBTI people with grace, sensitivity and passion. She is one of our community's most courageous allies."

Jason Ball, Young Australian of the Year (VIC) 2017

A Sample Of Jill's Writing

The Story |

The Dark Side Of Happy Ever After

The media is slowly abandoning the more depressing cliches about mental illness. But do the alternative narratives fall into the same trap?

The Guardian |

With Australia’s delayed vaccine rollout, a reunion with my parents overseas inches further from reach

The airport reunions were tough. As internal borders reopened, families separated for months by lockdown restrictions were made whole again..

The Guardian |

Mental illness must not become a political football

I had hoped we’d moved past outdated notions that people experiencing mental illness are inherently bad, erratic or dangerous.

The Guardian |

Hearing Melbourne’s lockdown was ending was like a dam wall breaking. I sobbed

Victoria has lived through a collective trauma. It has been necessary and effective, but my god it has been hard

The New Daily |

Why I’m anxious about lockdown ending

Life in lockdown was tough but it was simple. Fewer pressures and commitments means the chatter in my head has grown quieter. I’m nervous about…

The Saturday Paper |

Queer lives at risk

Despite significant progress for the rights of LGBTQIA people in recent decades, suicide rates in the community remain alarmingly high.

The Age |

Admitting you’re happy and alone can feel like an act of defiance

There remains an unhealthy perception that to be unpartnered is to live in a state of suspended animation.

The Saturday Paper |

Illicit drugs and the AFL

Recent calls for a stricter AFL drug policy have again fomented debate around changing societal values, mental health and harm reduction.

The Age/Sydney Morning Herald |

Pushing happiness as the holy grail is creating ‘generation anxiety’

The statistics portray an alarming truth: our young people are drowning in a sea of toxic stress.

The Age |

In this photo I am living my best life. The reality was very different

This photograph of a smiling, carefree woman at a ball #lovinglife masked a darker truth. Just weeks earlier I’d been writing suicide notes.

The Age |

‘New Year, New You’ is built on a lie, and I’m not buying it

It’s a lie built on one of the most destructive human emotions – shame. It implies that there’s something wrong with the ‘old you’

Sydney Morning Herald |

I am staying home on New Year’s Eve, and I’m totally fine about it

One of the unexpected gifts of getting older has been letting go of what I feel I should be doing with my life, and pursuing…

Sydney Morning Herald |

I spared myself 400 hours of screen time … and got to read 52 books

I wanted to slow down the chatter in my head. The frenzied anxiety of digital overload had left me longing for quiet and the ability…

Sydney Morning Herald |

Mindfulness is fine, but staring at a raisin won’t cure anxiety

For many people with ongoing mental health issues, mindfulness is a simplistic “magic pill” solution to a complex problem.

The Age |

You don’t need one true soul mate to ‘complete’ you

The hunt for our missing piece starts from that first bedtime story. We’re taught that if we want our “Happy Ever After” we must find…

Sydney Morning Herald |

When the answer to R U OK is ‘no’ and there’s nowhere to go

“Many people are no longer here because they couldn’t afford their mental illness. Our complex emotional pain is being treated with six-minute medicine.

Hire Jill

If you’d like to hire Jill to run a workshop, speak at your event or provide media services for your organisation, please get in touch for a quote.