The Wheeler Centre

The Wheeler Centre is Melbourne’s home for smart, passionate and entertaining public talks on every topic.

Across 200+ events each year, and a unique collection of videos, podcasts and original writing, you’ll find some of our finest local and international writers and thinkers sharing their expertise, their imaginations and their ideas.

From inception, the idea grew with the passion, belief and support of the Victorian State Government, gaining unstoppable momentum. In 2008, when Melbourne was designated a UNESCO City of Literature, this heralded the establishment of the Centre of Books, Writing and Ideas – a vibrant new hub for a diverse range of literary and ideas based organisations and activities. The aim: to provide a home and important focal point for the conversations that matter to Victoria and indeed Australia. As the Centre itself took its physical shape within a newly renovated and dedicated wing of the State Library of Victoria, its position was secured ahead of the official opening with the commitment of patrons, Maureen and Tony Wheeler of Lonely Planet. From that day, the Centre of Books, Writing and Ideas became The Wheeler Centre.

Since the first public event in February 2010, the Centre's story and journey has continued to unfurl and grow. In over five years of existence, The Wheeler Centre has established a reputation for ambition, variety and quality. It is firmly established as a leading arts organisation, dedicated to the dual purpose of being both a vibrant hub for the writing and literary sector and producing a diverse programme of public conversations and events.

Over 1800 speakers have participated in more than 1100 public conversations since 2010.

Sisonke Msimang: The Resurrection of Winnie Mandela

3 June 2019
The Wheeler Centre
Sisonke Msimang and Areej Nur

The death of Winnie Mandela in April last year shocked many South Africans...

In the Closet of the Vatican: Power, Homosexuality, Hypocrisy

4 June 2019
The Wheeler Centre
Sally Warhaft and Frédéric Martel

The Catholic Church, writes Frédéric Martel, is ‘a system built ...

Sobering Thoughts: Public Drunkenness Reform in Victoria

5 June 2019
The Wheeler Centre
Nayuka Gorrie, Eddie Cubillo, Shahleena Musk, and...

Almost 30 years ago, the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody...

Samah Sabawi

6 June 2019
The Wheeler Centre
Samah Sabawi and Sami Shah

‘For Palestinian writers, we write for our lives,’ Samah Sabawi has written...

Melanie Cheng and Omar Sakr

7 June 2019
The Wheeler Centre
Khalid Warsame, Omar Sakr, and Melanie Cheng

Double Booked returns in June, with a conversation between two superb...

National Agitators: Confronting Australian Theatre

11 June 2019
The Wheeler Centre
Patricia Cornelius, Nicci Wilks, Susie Dee, and...

Patricia Cornelius, Susie Dee and Nicci Wilks have been making radical and...