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: Digital Nostalgia

2 June 2020
The Wheeler Centre
Ruby-Rose Pivet-Marsh, Millie Baylis, Alistair...

We often speak of the internet as the Bad Place, but it’s also vital for...

Live-stream: Kevin Rudd on Australia’s Post-Pandemic Future

9 June 2020
The Wheeler Centre
Sally Warhaft and Kevin Rudd

What are the origins of COVID-19?

Live-stream: We Are Nemeses: Talking Experimental Comedy

11 June 2020
The Wheeler Centre
Vidya Rajan, Alistair Baldwin, Scott Limbrick,...

Vidya Rajan and Alistair Baldwin are Nemeses, a newly formed and already...

On ‘Welcome’: Migration, First Nations and Refugee Communities

14 June 2020
The Wheeler Centre
Shabnam Safa, Amiel Nubaha, and Gheran-Yarraman...

What’s in a welcome?

Words Without Borders: An Evening of Poetry and Spoken Word

15 June 2020
The Wheeler Centre
Manal Younus, Lujayn Hourani, Flora Chol, Hani...

'Poetry is like a bird,' the Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko famously said...