From Sydney, classically trained as an actor in Melbourne at the Victorian College of the Arts, Shelly's filmmaking career is preceded by nearly a decade of work as an actor and theatre maker on some of Australia's most prestigious stages. In 2015, Shelly earned her Master of Fine Arts in Film Directing from the American Film Institute Conservatory where she was awarded the AFI Richard P Rogers Spirit of Excellence Award of her graduating film Woman Outside. The film screened at numerous international film festivals including Palm Springs International Short Fest, Odense International Film Festival, Rhode Island International Film Festival and the UN Woman Global Voices Festival where it won Best Dramatic Short Film. Her latest film, Birdie, was the recipient of the Australian Director's Guild / Metro Screen Production Fellowship; it premiered at the Melbourne International Film Festival, internationally at the Toronto International Film Festival, and was acquired by Fox Searchlight Pictures, a first for the studio. Shelly has also been recognized with esteemed awards including the Glorias' Fellowship, Mary Pickford Foundation Endowed Scholarship, Holleigh Bernson Memorial Scholarship and the AFI Scholarship, two years in a row. Most recently, she was nominated for Best Director at the Australian Director’s Guild Awards for her short film Birdie.