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.

Emerging Writers’ Festival Programme Launch: The Awkward Stage

15 May 2019
The Wheeler Centre
Izzy Roberts-Orr, Aïsha Trambas, Vidya Rajan, Kat...

The 2019 Emerging Writers’ Festival launches with a night of readings.

We Didn't Have Prisons?

21 May 2019
The Wheeler Centre
Robyn Oxley, Meriki Onus, and Debbie Kilroy

Australia’s prison populations are booming and their demographics are...

Melbourne Was Underwater?

22 May 2019
The Wheeler Centre
Tony Birch and David Sornig

The experts have spoken – there’s no doubt the water is rising.

We Didn’t Gender Babies?

23 May 2019
The Wheeler Centre

An increasing number of parents are choosing to raise their children gender-...

AFL Can Cure Democracy?

24 May 2019
The Wheeler Centre
George Megalogenis and Akec Makur Chuot

In Melbourne, Australian Rules football is a way of of life and, for many, a...

Meg and Tom Keneally

24 May 2019
The Wheeler Centre
Meg Keneally, Thomas Keneally, and Elizabeth...

Tom and Meg Keneally are an unlikely crack novel-writing team who write...