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Biographical entry Willis, Jack Lehane (1918 - 2004)

16 March 1918
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
12 November 2004
Chemist and Museum director


Jack Willis initially worked as an organic chemist in private industry. He was then appointed Botanical Research Officer at the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (later the Powerhouse Museum) in 1948. Later he became Deputy Director 1956-1959 and Director 1960-1979.


Born Sydney, 16 March 1918. Educated University of Sydney (BA, MSc). Botanical Research Officer, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences 1948, Deputy Director 1956-59, Director 1960-79. President, Museums Association of Australia 1961-67.

Archival resources

Powerhouse Museum

  • Jack Lehane Willis - Records, 1921 - 1978, MA 153, MRS 225; Powerhouse Museum. Details

Published resources

Encyclopedia of Australian Science Exhibitions


  • Penfold, Arthur de Ramon, and Willis, Jack Lehane, The eucalypts : botany, cultivation, chemistry, and utilization, Leonard Hill, London, 1961, 551 pp. Details

Book Sections

  • Willis, J. L., 'Baker, Richard Thomas (1854-1941), botanist and museum curator', in Bede Nairn and Geoffrey Serle (eds), Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 7, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1979, pp. 154-155. Also available at Details

Journal Articles

  • Penfold, A.R.; & Willis, J. L., 'The Essential Oil Industry of Australia', Economic Botany, vol. 8, no. 4, 1954, pp. 316-336. Details

Online Resources

McCarthy, G.J.