University of Newcastle

Shellie Smith is a proud Awabakal woman and an 8th generation Novocastrian. She uses a combination of research and creative practice to reconnect to her Aboriginal heritage. A graduate of Architecture, Shellie specialised in heritage conservation, working extensively on projects around Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and the Lower Hunter before moving to Canberra to join the Commonwealth Heritage Branch. A current PhD student, her research is focused on the traditional cultural practices of the Awabakal people and how a better understanding of these practices can inform contemporary design that is responsive to Country and builds Community.

Shellie has a love for living history and uses a combination of historical research, personal story and the interpretation of archived objects to rebuild culture and make the traditional relatable to today. Through her multi-medium creative practice, Shellie has been a contributor on several public artworks and event spaces, including the 2022 New Annual Sand Pavilion. Shellie’s research and creative practice aims to inspire other First Nations people to reconnect and reawaken their own cultural heritage by developing and demonstrating ethically sound practices.

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Stream A: Panel One