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.

Feather Permitting: Jim Robbins on Birds

13 March 2018
The Wheeler Centre
Jim Robbins and Sean Dooley

The human fascination with birds is expressed in our technology and in our...

A Night with Geoffrey Robertson

13 March 2018
The Wheeler Centre
Geoffrey Robertson

He’s sparred with General Pinochet and Princess Diana.

Alexander McCall Smith: Warrnambool

14 March 2018
The Wheeler Centre
Alexander McCall Smith and Chris Flynn

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

Imagined Biography

19 March 2018
The Wheeler Centre
Stella Charls, Kelly Gardiner, Marija Pericic,...

The space between pure fiction and fact harbours many curious things.

Barry Hill: Reason and Lovelessness

21 March 2018
The Wheeler Centre
Barry Hill and Justin Clemens

Poet, essayist, journalist, critic, editor, novelist, historian, librettist...

Robyn Davidson

23 March 2018
The Wheeler Centre
Robyn Davidson and Elizabeth McCarthy

There are restless people ... and then there is Robyn Davidson.