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.

Jenny Erpenbeck: European Facts and Fictions

6 May 2019
The Wheeler Centre
Jenny Erpenbeck and Melinda Harvey

‘I do believe that East German authors have an experiential advantage from...

Antony Beevor: History and Hubris

6 May 2019
The Wheeler Centre
Antony Beevor and Michael Veitch

English historian Antony Beevor is credited with transforming the military...

Meg Wolitzer: The Female Persuasion

6 May 2019
The Wheeler Centre
Meg Wolitzer and Brodie Lancaster

Meg Wolitzer’s new novel, The Female Persuasion, is about public...

Natives: In Conversation with Akala

7 May 2019
The Wheeler Centre
Akala and Andy Butler

Award-winning hip-hop artist, social entrepreneur and writer Akala joins...

Susan Orlean: Stranger Than Non-fiction

7 May 2019
The Wheeler Centre
Susan Orlean and Sarah Krasnostein

Susan Orlean writes, writes, writes.

Paula Saunders: The Distance Home

7 May 2019
The Wheeler Centre
Paula Saunders and Michael Williams

Paula Saunders has described her own debut novel, The Distance Home...