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.

Drug Laws

16 May 2017
The Wheeler Centre
Madeleine Morris, David Caldicott, Nicole Lee,...

Supply reduction, demand reduction and harm reduction are the three key...

Not Seen, Not Heard: The Hidden Stolen Generation

17 May 2017
The Wheeler Centre
Natalie Lewis, Andrew Jackomos, and Muriel...

In 2008, when Kevin Rudd made his historic apology to the Stolen Generations...

Picnic at Hanging Rock

18 May 2017
The Wheeler Centre
Helen Morse, Janelle McCulloch, Tom Wright, and...

‘She felt herself choking and tore at her frilled lace collar.

David Marr

19 May 2017
The Wheeler Centre
David Marr and Sally Warhaft

In previous Quarterly Essays, David Marr has turned his merciless...

Family and Fiction: Anne Enright

21 May 2017
The Wheeler Centre
Anne Enright and Pamela Paul

Anne Enright is known for exploring the complexities and banalities of...

Strange Here: George Saunders

21 May 2017
The Wheeler Centre
George Saunders and Don Watson

American writer George Saunders is one of the world’s most surreal – and...