Jo Hilder is a writer, artist and creative, a spiritual director and creative coach, an experienced speaker, author of four self-published books, and most recently the author of Small and Pure – A Cautionary Tale, released in June 2016 by Rhiza Press.
She is a cancer survivor, having been diagnosed with stage 3B Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2013. Jo also writes honestly about living with mental illness; depression and bipolar disorder.
Jo has been involved in the creative arts since the eighties, studying, teaching and working professionally across various spheres including drama and acting, singing and songwriting, art design and advertising media production, web design and blogging, screenprinting, clip art and stamp block design, leadlighting, fabric art design and quilting, painting and drawing, sculpture, clothing design and upcycling and jewellry making.
Jo is also a qualified and experienced support group facilitator and community advocate, having held various roles with the NSW Cancer Council including Programs Coordinator and Relationship Manager. She continues to work closely with the organisation, speaking at events and assisting with training and advocacy.
A trained Chaplain, Jo spent many years in various roles in local church congregations in pastoral care, music and creative ministry.
Jo has also worked in the area of community mental health as a support worker and case manager, serving the needs of clients with schizophrenia and other chronic mental health challenges.
Her books include God, You Can Take My Mental Illness – Just Not The Part Where You Speak To Me (2013), Things Not To Say To Someone Who Has Cancer (2013) and Soul Letters for the Cancer Sojourner (2014).
Small And Pure – A Cautionary Tale was released by Rhiza Press in early 2016.
Jo also co-authored several projects including Under A Sudanese Star with Yai Atem, a Lost Boy of Southern Sudan, The Light At the End Of The Tunnel – How To Beat Cancer with 12 year old leukaemia survivor, Jacob Cooper, and Left At The Gate – A Mothers Journey With Grief and Loss by Jillian March.
Her articles and commentary on various topics from theology to spirituality, motherhood to menopause to marriage equality can be seen on Burnside Writers Collective, RelevantMagazine.com, Darkwood Brew, Mamamia, iVillage, BlogHer, The Newcastle Herald, Marie Claire magazine (Australia) and ABC The Drum – Unleashed, among other nefarious places on the internet.