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.

Nation, Clan, Self: Paul Beatty, Susan Faludi and Ivan Coyote in Conversation

29 May 2017
The Wheeler Centre
Susan Faludi, Paul Beatty, Ivan Coyote, and Jane...

‘Is identity something you "choose," or is it the very thing you can't...

Spoken Nerd: Criticism in Conversation

30 May 2017
The Wheeler Centre
Bhakthi Puvanenthiran, Stephen Metcalf, Dana...

What does it mean when we get our cultural criticism through our ears rather...

Hisham Matar

30 May 2017
The Wheeler Centre
Hisham Matar and Hilary Harper

‘One day justice will be done and the jailer will replace the jailed.’...

Slate Culture Gabfest, Live in Melbourne

31 May 2017
The Wheeler Centre
Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, Julia Turner, and...

The Slate Culture Gabfest is both a stalwart and a pioneer of...

Kate DiCamillo

1 June 2017
The Wheeler Centre
Kate DiCamillo and Sally Rippin

‘Reading aloud binds us together in unanticipated ways.

Forget About It!: The Science and Psychology of Memory

5 June 2017
The Wheeler Centre
Leah Kaminsky, Ashley Bush, Jee Hyun Kim, and...

The mind works in obscure, often inconvenient, ways.