Before joining Magdalen in 2018, Shelley founded and ran an Australian business which created gardens on roofs and walls and ground-level gardens designed to manage the quality and movement of water. Formerly, she consulted in strategy and narrative to government and NGOs, won a bursary for fiction to the Kenyan Writers Festival, and held lectureships and fellowships in English Literature and Irish Studies at St Hugh’s College, Oxford, Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Notre Dame. Shelley holds a DPhil in English Literature from St Hugh’s College, Oxford, an MA in British and French Literature from the University of York, and a BA (Hons) from the University of Melbourne in philosophy, literature and Russian.
Shelley works with the alumni, fellows, students and current and prospective partners of Magdalen College, Oxford, to develop and pursue Magdalen’s strategic priorities. This work encompasses philanthropy, programmes and partnerships.
In philanthropy, Shelley focuses on major gifts. She is currently working on campaigns to diversify participation in Magdalen and to strengthen the College’s renowned tutorial system by ensuring we can provide financial support to our graduate students. She is also investigating the feasibility of endowing a scholarship for Indigenous Australians.
In programmes and partnerships, Shelley co-ordinates Magdalen’s Pathway to Success Mentorship Programme, through which leaders among our alumni mentor upcoming black and minority ethnic leaders going into national politics and senior leadership roles in the UK. Shelley manages the College’s partnerships with the House of Commons, Operation Black Vote, and the Blavatnik School in Oxford which underpin this leadership programme.
Shelley is the convenor of the Magdalen Means Business speaker series on entrepreneurship, and of various further initiatives through which Magdalen is developing an increasingly rich interface between academic research, innovation and entrepreneurship.