Shellie Morris

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Shellie Morris
Genres Folk music, folk rock, roots revival
Occupation(s) Singer, singer/songwriter
Instruments Singing, guitar, piano
Labels independent record label
Associated acts The Black Arm Band

Shellie Morris is an indigenous Australian singer/songwriter who plays a mix of contemporary folk music and contemporary acoustic ballads.

Biography and career[edit]

Shellie Morris was raised in Sydney and began singing at an early age. In the 1990s Morris moved to Darwin, Northern Territory to find her Indigenous family.

She toured with Yothu Yindi in 2001 and also performed with Neil Murray from the Warumpi Band. In 2002 Shellie Morris wrote the music to the play "To the inland sea" inspired by Charles Sturt's 19th Century journey to discover the mythical inland sea in the center of Australia. Morris was named best female musician at the 2004 and 2005 Northern Territory Indigenous Music Awards[1] and her album Waiting Road produced by Glen Heald was nominated for Album of the Year at the 2007 Deadly Awards.[2] She has been featured nationally on two episodes of ABC TV's Message Stick program, Shellie Morris Swept Away and Shellie Morris in Concert.[3] Shellie also was on the SBS show Rockwiz and once again performed "Swept Away" and also performed a unique version of "Louis Louie" with Ross Wilson.

Shellie Morris works with Indigenous / aboriginal communities and youth throughout Australia helping aboriginal people to write music about their stories and experiences. She has worked in over fifty Indigenous Communities and is an ambassador for the Fred Hollows Foundation (an organisation undertaking blindness prevention in Australian aboriginal communities, Asia, Africa and the Pacific) and an ambassador for The Jimmy Little Foundation (established to help improve kidney health in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities).[4]

Morris is currently a featured Aboriginal singer with the Black Arm Band. (A collaboration of Australia's top indigenous artists and jazz musicians including artists such as Archie Roach) Her song "Swept Away" was orchestrated and performed in 2008 with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. In 2009 Shellie Morris performed at the Sydney Opera house with world-renowned aboriginal musician Gurrumul Yunupingu. Morris also performed and co-wrote the music Liberty Songs with Australian guitarist Glen Heald, a collaboration between refugees from Liberia and indigenous Australian female singers. In 2010 Shellie performed her song "Swept Away" at the opening of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver with the Black Arm Band. In 2011 Morris sang alongside the international music stars Sinéad O'Connor, John Cale, Meshell Ndegeocello, Rickie Lee Jones and aboriginal singer Gurrumul Yunupingu for the show 7 Songs to Leave Behind. Shellie Morris was featured in the Australian film 'Murundak – Songs of freedom' (a feature documentary on Aboriginal protest music following The Black Arm Band From the concert halls of the Sydney Opera House to remote Aboriginal communities of the Northern Territory.)

In 2011 Shellie Morris was chosen by the famous Brazilian singer Gilberto Gil to be included in his film "Viramundo" a transnational voyage of the southern hemisphere that takes Gilberto across the Australian Outback to inner-city Johannesburg and Soweto and on to the Amazon forests. Directed by Pierre-Yves Borgeaud. "The film explores different aspects of the relations between countries of the southern hemisphere," Gil says.

In 2013, she released a song album Ngambala Wiji Li-Wunungu – Together We are Strong, on ABC music with songs in several indigenous languages: Yanyuwa, Marra, Garrwa and Gurdanji. The project won the 2012 National Indigenous Music Award for Traditional Music, the 2012 Music Council of Australia's Music in Communities Award and the 2013 National Indigenous Music Award for Song of the Year for li-Anthawirriyarra a-kurija[5][6][7]


  • Shellie Morris (2000)[8]
  • Waiting Road (2007)[9]

Compilation appearances

  • Murundak-The Black Arm Band (2006)[10]
  • Hidden Republic-The Black Arm Band (2008)[10]
  • Cry Stolen (2007)
  • Aboriginal Soul (2009)


External links[edit]