A tribute to...

Jill Mellick

Published: 6/2/2023

Jill Mellick 

August 29, 1948 - December 20, 2022

Letty Jill Mellick, Ph.D., author, multimedia artist, Jungian psychologist and Professor Emerita, passed away December 20, 2022. She was born in Brisbane to Dr. JSD Mellick, OAM, ED, and Letty Katts, pianist and composer of iconic Australian ballads.

Jill attended Somerville House, Brisbane, where she excelled in academics and leadership. When admitted to the University of Queensland, she aspired to cross disciplinary studies of cultural anthropology, sociology, psychology, English, French, languages and music. Those ambitions were squashed by an advisor, so she chose English Literature and Language and French. She earned a scholarship for her Honours degree and subsequently went to New Guinea. There she lived with the Foré and Atzera tribes, and saw where her father had been during the 1939-1945 war.

While at University, she was invited to be editor of the University's literary magazine "Makar" and taught Creative Writing to elementary students in the summers. There she discovered her love of using multimodal ways to awaken creative expression in others. After graduation, she held a senior teaching position at Clayfield College, Brisbane, where, with imagination, depth of knowledge, and love of students, she transformed the English and French curriculae. At 22 she wrote and published her first book on creative writing for elementary students.

In 1971 she travelled widely, visiting over 20 countries, in Europe and the Middle East. Upon return to Brisbane, she became Head of the Arts Department at Clayfield College. Once again, she revised curriculae to enable students to express their full creative capacities.

At age 24 she became Principal of an international adult distance education program in Sydney, where she supervised curriculum development affecting 60 commercial and technical courses, 70 instructors, and 6,500 students in Australasia.

In 1975 she moved to Palo Alto, California, working as a freelance textbook editor and Lecturer in English at Golden Gate University. She enrolled in a doctoral program in Clinical Psychology, completed pre- and post-doctoral internships in the Department of Psychiatry at Stanford University, and did field work with Pueblo Indian communities in New Mexico.

She was a half-time Full Professor at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (later Sofia University) with a 22-year tenure as Director of Doctoral Research designing new, cross-disciplinary research methodologies. A dream inspired her to found and direct one of the first doctoral programs studying and teaching the cross-cultural use of the arts for psycho-spiritual healing and development.

When she resigned, she was elected Professor Emerita. Her focus turned towards her therapy practice, writing and painting. Her passion for travel, beauty, and experimentation with various media was a constant inspiration for her landscapes and abstract art. She loved private practice, where she worked with international executives, professionals and academics for 30 years.

Her lifetime interest in the role of creative expression in psycho-spiritual healing and development continued through her publications, and through her underwriting of awards and scholarships to democratize access to the expressive arts at: Sofia University, Somerville House in Australia, the Mellick Shutes Award at the South Western Association for Indian Arts and Crafts, the Letty Katts Award (underwritten with her father) for contributions to Australian Music, and the JSD Mellick Bequest through the State Library of Queensland, Australia.

In 2018 Jill published her ground-breaking discoveries of Carl Jung's art materials and creative process in, The Red Book Hours. She earned the trust and support of Jung's descendants and Foundations, and this publication is widely considered as a necessary companion to The Red Book itself. Her many other publications include The Worlds of P'otsunu, co-authored with Dr. Jeanne Shutes; The Art of Dreaming; Coming Home to Myself, coauthored with Marion Woodman; a pseudonymous novel; poetry in journals; and her contribution by invitation to, The Art of C.G. Jung and her final publication, There You Are.

Jill bore with dignity, dry humor and collaborative creativity, serious medical crises throughout her adulthood and was an honorary family member for many. She is survived by relatives and close friends around the world, who carry her creative gifts, wisdom, love of beauty and inspiration in their hearts and lives. 

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