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.

Paul Holdengräber: The Art of the Interview

8 May 2019
The Wheeler Centre
Paul Holdengräber and Sally Warhaft

What makes a great interview?

Shelf Life: Paul Holdengräber and Susan Orlean on Libraries

8 May 2019
The Wheeler Centre
Paul Holdengräber, Susan Orlean, and Kate Torney

'The boundary between society and the library is porous,' Susan Orlean has...

Andrew Sean Greer: The Less We Know

9 May 2019
The Wheeler Centre
Andrew Sean Greer and Benjamin Law

When his novel Less won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Andrew...

Welcome to Clown Town: A Drag Workshop

11 May 2019
The Wheeler Centre
Anthony Hudson / Carla Rossi

Hailing from Portland, Oregon, acclaimed American drag clown Carla Rossi (...

Mary Norris: From Comma Queen to Greek Geek

13 May 2019
The Wheeler Centre
Mary Norris and Penny Modra

Copy editor and grammar nerd Mary Norris has seen the fabled linguistic...

Kamila Shamsie: Home Fire

14 May 2019
The Wheeler Centre
Kamila Shamsie and Sonia Nair

With her seventh novel, Home Fire, Pakistani-British author Kamila...