Waang Eora (South to Sydney)

Lesley Salem

Aboriginal Artist

Lesley Salem (nee Elvin) Art Biography

I am a descendant of the Gringai-Wonnarua Nation in NSW, currently working in Private Practice as a generalist and chronic disease Nurse Practitioner (NP).  My nursing is dedicated to improving the health of those with chronic disease. I enjoy mentoring and believe strongly in sharing knowledge. Always through my work is a strong dedication to the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people, those with socioeconomic disadvantage, and my peers.

My art follows in the footsteps of my father Les Elvin, an artist and elder of the Wonnarua Nation. Most of my knowledge for my art is drawn from my dad’s knowledge but I use it in a more contemporary manner. I predominantly use acrylic on canvas, wood with some glass work. Although I use a contemporary dotting style, I utilise traditional Aboriginal Symbolism where able to tell the stories in my work. All work must be telling a story.

I love to paint the imagery of the flora and fauna that I see on my travels with rural and remote nursing and tramping (or hiking) I do extensively.  I also love to use dotting technique in a modern/contemporary style along with traditional symbolism to paint the life story of an individual or family showing their journey.

I have been exhibiting since my late thirties at Galleries and Exhibitions in Cessnock, Newcastle, Hunter valley Vineyards, Muswellbrook. I have won the 50th Annual Weston art Show – won Highly Commended for ‘Kurri Kurri Grevillea’ Won Major Award (Overall) for the exhibition (link) and was 2013 winner Reconciliation Aboriginal Acquisitive Artwork Prize. Yarnteen Ltd and GrainCorp Newcastle. I have a painting in acquisitions at the Muswellbrook Art Gallery. This was purchased as an award by Coal and Allied and donated to the gallery as a Wupa at Wonnarua award.

I do work for brochures and have produced a book that my father painted for called Bush Tucker in Kidney Failure and Diabetes.

Current Art on Display

I currently have work on display at the Hunter Valley Information Centre in the Hunter Valley Vineyards in the Les Elvin Kungera Arts Gallery


455 Wine Country Dr, Pokolbin NSW 2320

Hours: 9am–5pm

Phone: (02) 4993 6700

I Am Available For

Art classes, individual lessons

Life stories: Your life mapped through places and travel lines with inclusion of important people





Many thanks

Lesley Salem

Phone 0425 294 453


Get in Touch

Interested in learning more about me, my work or commissions? Feel free to reach out anytime, I would be more than happy to chat.





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0425 294 453

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