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.

Jacqui Lambie

6 March 2018
The Wheeler Centre
Sally Warhaft and Jacqui Lambie

Jacqui Lambie is hot-blooded, unpredictable and often startlingly candid.

Witnessing Climate Change

6 March 2018
The Wheeler Centre
Andi Horvath, Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner, Jim Robbins,...

Climate change is too often discussed in the abstract – in terms of graphs,...

Reporting the Gender Reckoning

7 March 2018
The Wheeler Centre
Sophie Black, Francesca Donner, and Matilda Dixon...

In October last year, the New York Times published the first story...

Sarah Sentilles: Draw Your Weapons

7 March 2018
The Wheeler Centre
Sarah Sentilles and Maria Tumarkin

Across four books, and the striking Drone Alerts project, US-based writer...

The Politics of Biography

8 March 2018
The Wheeler Centre
Jenny Hocking

‘It is now more than 40 years since the dismissal of the Whitlam government...

Alexander McCall Smith

13 March 2018
The Wheeler Centre
Alexander McCall Smith and Toni Jordan

Alexander McCall Smith is a literary phenomenon; a force of nature and a...