Lily is an important elder in the Mt Leibig community. It is her role to teach the young women of the community ancestral laws and traditional singing and dancing. She began her painting career assisting her husband Norman Kelly at Papunya in the 1960s – it was only after this that Lily began painting her own Dreamings. Lily’s work is admired for the intricate dot work and delicate movement. In 2006 Lily was named in the 50 most collectable Australian artists by Australia Art Collector magazine.