In 1998, Hillier with her colleagues published research on same-sex attracted (SSA) young people - the biggest survey of its kind in Australia at the time. It started the ball rolling for lots of discussion about bullying of young SSA people in Australia.
In 2006, the study 'Writing Themselves In Again: 6 Years On' was repeated with an even bigger cohort of young people under 24 years.
Now, in 2011, Hillier is poised to reveal hard-hitting new research showing an unprecedented number of young LGBTI Australians open up about their lives, coming outs, thoughts, dreams and fears like never before. The timing is perfect - concerns about bullying and suicide of young queer students is a touchstone topic as teens are coming out younger and younger, with too many then finding it difficult to cope with the fallout.
“To call the studies groundbreaking is an understatement," one nominator of Hillier for our influential list told us. "They have had such a significant impact in the social policy world at turning attention to suicide idealisation, depression, sexual activities and drug use among young same-sex attracted young people - and what governments, schools and others need to do to address this groups need "Hillier has dedicated her professional life to an evidence-based tackling of the homophobia and marginalisation which faces young SSA people and is an inspiration to all."
The hard-working researcher herself told us she was delighted and humbled to be on the Same Same 25 most influential gay and lesbian Australians list this year.
"I have been privileged for 16 years to be working with, and totally inspired by, queer young people who have taught me much of what I know about integrity, compassion, generosity of spirit and determination," she adds. "A list such as this is an effective way to highlight the struggles for social justice in our country, to mark where we have come from and how far we still need to go.
"With young people increasingly coming out at an earlier age, and feeling stronger and prouder about their sexuality, I have great hopes for the Same Same lists of the future."
The Same Same 25 is an annual celebration of the 25 Most Influential Gay and Lesbian Australians. They are publicly nominated, and chosen by a panel of community leaders.
For the past two years, the announcement of the 25 Most Influential Gay and Lesbian Australians has attracted widespread national media attention and focused on the achievements and influence of a varied and inspirational group of people.