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.

Writing the Body

28 March 2019
The Wheeler Centre
Carly Findlay, Lee Kofman, and Kelli Jean...

In our daily lives, we’re flooded with images and ideas of how our bodies...

Jock Serong

29 March 2019
The Wheeler Centre
Jock Serong and Elizabeth McCarthy

Jock Serong is known as an author of gripping books about crime and...

Comic In Tuition: Can Comedy be Taught?

30 March 2019
The Wheeler Centre
Wes Snelling

Are ‘funny bones’ something you’re born with, or can they grow with time?...

Reading Your Mind: Neurodiversity and Writing

1 April 2019
The Wheeler Centre
Graeme Simsion, Clem Bastow, and Yenn Purkis

In 2013, Graeme Simsion published his first novel, The Rosie Project...

On Hate

2 April 2019
The Wheeler Centre
Tim Soutphommasane, Santilla Chingaipe, and Sally...

When, and how, does hate flourish in a society?

Beyond Your Command: Youth Activism Today

3 April 2019
The Wheeler Centre
Aretha Brown, Paige Burton, Lawrence Reginald...

On the streets, on the airwaves and online – a new generation of young...