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.

Rachel Kushner: The Mars Room

30 April 2019
The Wheeler Centre
Rachel Kushner and Ellena Savage

‘This is a story that gets to the root of how my society is structured right...

Dhonielle Clayton: The Art of Inclusion

1 May 2019
The Wheeler Centre
Dhonielle Clayton and Melissa Keil

In a response to a reader’s letter, YA author Malinda Lo once wrote, ‘...

Simon Schama: Wordy

2 May 2019
The Wheeler Centre
Simon Schama and Ramona Koval

Simon Schama is a British broadcaster and scholar who is famous for his...

Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah: Friday Black

2 May 2019
The Wheeler Centre
Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah and Areej Nur

Endorsed by the likes of Roxane Gay, Colson Whitehead and George Saunders – ...

Lunch with Simon Schama

3 May 2019
The Wheeler Centre
Simon Schama and David Hansen

Join Simon Schama for a discussion about art, over lunch.

Blaze a Tale: The Power of Story

4 May 2019
The Wheeler Centre
Tony Birch, Alice Pung, and Paddy O'Reilly

What does it mean to be a storyteller in Australia today?