Sheila started her working life as a teacher and university researcher before commencing a 30 year career in advertising, public relations and public affairs. Her work led to honorary appointments on a variety of performance, arts and education boards including the Victorian Ministerial Advisory Council of the Arts, the Spoleto Festival, the Melbourne Moomba Festival, The Museums Board of Victoria and Tourism Victoria. She has also been a Board member of numerous public interest organisations including Vision 2020, Sustainability Victoria, the Federal Administrative Review Council, Comcare Australia and Small Business Victoria.
She is an Honorary Life Fellow of Museum Victoria, Life Fellow of the Public Relations Industry Association and Life Member of the Australian Journalists Association. She was awarded the Centenary Medal in 2003 and named on the Honour Roll of Victorian Women in 2004 for her contribution to public life.