Shelley evolved following the reclamation of the river foreshore for development. A land sale in the Shelley Beach Estate in 1938 advertised blocks suitable for fruit, dairying and market gardening for £10 an acre. In the 1960s the City of Canning agreed to a reclamation scheme, which has created the beautiful foreshore at Shelley with uninterrupted views of the City.

Shelley sits to the north side of Leach Hwy bounded by the Canning River and sits beside Rossmoyne.  It is serviced by the Shelley Primary School and Rossmoyne High School and is accessible to Curtin University, across the other side of the River.