shelley conway

First Nations artist, a Ngarluma, Kariyarra, Yawuru, Nyul Nyul woman residing on Boorloo (Perth, Western Australia) on Whadjuk Noongar Boodja (Country).


I am a proud queer Ngarluma, Kariyarra, Yawuru, Nyul Nyul woman from Port Hedland (Kariyarra Ngurra [Country]). I have strong connections to the Pilbara and Kimberley.

I am a creative storyteller (filmmaker and visual artist) and community worker. I am passionate about working in and with the community to create positive change. I come from a long line of strong Matriarchs - listening to and watching my mother, grandmother and elders share their stories have been so empowering, and I want to continue to share our stories to keep our culture strong. I believe that storytelling has the power to heal us – personally and generationally.

Being able to share my stories through painting is how I heal from my trauma, and I want to help others to share their stories, so they too are able to heal. 


Gulumarrigu: Warawarnigu
Come Together: Heal

Acrylic on canvas

Healing from my past traumas invigorated a drive to discover myself, accepting my identity in the process and sharing my story with those willing listeners.

The heart of the artwork depicts the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities coming together as one to support each other. The colours of various LGBTQIA+ flags are the metaphorical strings, connecting the centre community to the scattering of smaller communities – with the hopes of demonstrating that we are part of one supportive community, but each have our own strengths and struggles.

The colours of the communities reflect our different skin tones; these communities are then connected through the colours of the earth, land, and water.  Our ancestors gather around us, guiding our actions and spreading the love, removing any shame we may feel from our sexual and/or gender identities.  Though we have our differences, we are all connected through the land, water, and culture - let's come together and work in unity to create positive change.

Life Apparel Co is an advocate and a proud member of the Indigenous Art Code since 2017.
The Indigenous Art Code is a system to preserve and promote ethical trading in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island art. As an Australian non-Indigenous owned business, we share the responsibility to raise standards in this field and be an example on how to conduct business. 

The Code oversees dealings and supports the rights of Indigenous Artists to negotiate fair terms for their work and gives you, the customer greater certainty about an artwork’s origin.