Helping organisations to work in partnership with Indigenous people and to advance with confidence.

Shelley in pictures

Shelley Reys AO is principal and CEO of Arrilla, a successful consulting firm operating since 1994 (and under former management 1992 - 1994). Arrilla works collaboratively with the government, private and community sectors to enable mutual change and sound partnerships.

Arrilla exists to:

  • Promote better relations between Indigenous peoples and the wider community.

  • Provide more effective, practical ways of working together, now and into the future.

  • Incorporate Indigenous solutions into mainstream environs.

  • We work on a unique, social business model. Our business charter is “to provide services to those that can afford them in order to provide services to those less able to pay." So when appointing Arrilla you’re making a meaningful contribution to related pursuits in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arena.

    “Our business charter is “to provide services to those that can afford them in order to provide services to those less able to pay."

    Arrilla is majority Aborigal owned and operated and we collaborate with some of the finest Indigenous talent across the nation.

    Arrilla’s Principal, Shelley Reys, brings over 21 years of experience in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander landscape to the table. She was awarded the Order of Australia for her work in the Indigenous arena and named the Australian Financial Review’s ‘100 Women of Influence’.

    Shelley with Marie Bashir

    She is an adviser and provides support to a range of leaders and their organisations. This includes some of Australia’s most senior corporate sector CEOs, Chairs, boards and executive leaders as well as government officials including Governor Generals, Prime Ministers and Ministers. Shelley was a participant of APEC 2010 in Japan and The Women’s Entrepreneurship Summit. She attended on invitation of the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, and as a guest of the US state government.

    From the beginnings of the reconciliation movement - to parliament’s apology to ‘the stolen generations’ - to The Australian of the Year awards - to cultural competency for the workplace - Shelley has been front-and-centre in leading the kind of change that is as necessary as it is brave.

    Previous appointments include:

    2012 – 2014 Chairman of the board, National Centre for Indigenous Excellence (NCIE). The NCIE is a world-class facility that provides breakthrough learning experiences and life-changing programs. In doing so, it reframes the national conversation about Indigenous Australia through the lens of excellence and innovation.

    2005 – 2014 Vice-Chairman and board member of The National Australia Day Council (NADC) which drives Australia Day and appoints the national Australian of the Year as well as Australia’s Young, Senior and Local Hero of the Year. Her nine-year tenure was by Prime Ministerial appointment and throughout her term, Shelley sought to provide inclusiveness and greater meaning to Australia’s national day of celebration and its high-profile awards program.

    2012 – 2013 Board member of CareerTrackers, a successful not-for-profit organisation that connects corporate Australia with high-quality Indigenous university students by creating award-winning and mutually beneficial internships across the nation.

    2005 – 2012 Managing Director of Indigenous Film Services, a film, video and multimedia resource and production service which developed music videos, web and television commercials, documentaries and short films. IFS’ highly acclaimed documentary, ‘The Apology’, enjoys broad public screenings particularly during the anniversary of parliament’s apology to ‘the stolen generations’ and the commonwealth government provided copies to public schools across the nation. To that end, it continues to inspire all Australians and perpetuates the value of symbolism.

    2000 – 2010 Inaugural Co-Chairman and board member of Reconciliation Australia, whose vision is for an Australia that recognises and respects the special place, culture, rights and contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples; and where good relationships between First Australians and other Australians become the foundation for local strength and success; and the enhancement of our national wellbeing. During Shelley’s ten-year tenure, the Reconciliation Australia Plan (RAP) program was established. Her leadership has helped to inspire organisations across the nation to turn their interest in Indigenous advancement into tangible workplace solutions.

    2005 – 2007 Director and Vice-Chairman of The Fred Hollows Foundation, the world health organisation leading the agenda in unnecessary blindness across the globe.

    1998 – 2004 Vice-President and Board member of the YWCA of Sydney, one of Australia’s peak women’s organisations which provides a broad range of services to address the needs of women and their families.

    1991 - 2001 The Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation (Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet), ‘Australians For Reconciliation’ Program Manager NSW. At the end of the Council’s ten-year term, Shelley supported ‘Corroboree 2000’, a national reconciliation event at the Sydney Opera House which included the ‘People’s Walk for Reconciliation’ across the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Over 250,000 Indigenous and non-Indigenous people walked across the bridge to symbolise the journey they had shared together which is said to be Australia’s largest public demonstration of its time. It is also said to have been the largest collection of Australian leaders since Federation in 1901. It served as a prelude to several ‘Walks for Reconciliation’ in major cities and towns across the nation.

    1996 – 1999 Co Chair, Women’s Reconciliation Network, which aims to provide greater meaning and inspiration to the work of women in reconciliation through annual events, special projects and bi-monthly meetings.

    1997 – 1999 Founding Board member of Koori Radio (Gadigal Information Service) which offers music and information about Indigenous issues from around the world.




    Arrilla would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners and Custodians of land throughout Australia.

    Arrilla is based in inner Sydney, the land of the Gadigal of the Eora nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present and recognise and celebrate their continuing connection to culture, country and community.

    Find out more about Acknowledgement of Country and Welcome to Country protocols in our digital course.

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this website may contain images of people who have passed away.

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