Writer and Performer
Poignant, wise and full of humour, Shellie Morris’ illustrious career has balanced being one of Australia’s most celebrated singer-songwriters with her unwavering commitment to healing through music within communities. Armed with personal experience of connection and disconnection, Shellie imparts the importance of having a voice, listening to one another and that every individual is important. Her uplifting new single Footsteps (released February 2019) connects people through language, song and spirit.
While she has been in the spotlight for many years with her involvement with Black Arm Band, Deadly Awards, multiple ARIA nominations, a Music Australia award, a NAIDOC Award and a prestigous G.R. Burarrawanga Memorial Award, by and large, Shellie works on the ground reaffirming the identity of all those around her.
Shellie creates music and sings in around seventeen Aboriginal languages, many considered “sleeping”. Since discovering her Wardaman and Yanyuwa roots over 20 years ago, she has tirelessly worked to improve the lives of Indigenous Australians, especially in the Northern Territory.
She was the 2014 Northern Territory Australian of the Year and has won multiple awards personally and for her collaborations including the landmark album Ngambala Wiji li-Wunungu and the internationally award-winning musical documentary Prison Songs. The documentary has won film and humanitarian awards around the world and was nominated for five AACTA awards (including best sound and score), ATOM Awards - Best Indigenous Resource and a Walkley Documentary Award.
Through honesty, music and her trademark smile, Shellie Morris aims to gently encourage change.
“I’ve worked in more than 70 remote Australian communities in my career, I’ve learnt to sing in more than 17 Aboriginal languages – many of which are considered “sleeping” or close to extinction. First Nations cultures have always used the arts as the main way of communicating over the ages, as an education tool for kids’ learning, lore, law, inter-tribal communication and imparting social mores. I’m continuing this.” - Shellie Morris