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.

Pursuing Justice: Human Rights in an Age of Crisis

26 July 2021
The Wheeler Centre
Julian Burnside, Stuart Rees, and Tasneem Chopra

This event originally scheduled to take place on Thursday 22 July...

The Mother Load: Motherhood, Trauma and Resilience

2 August 2021
The Wheeler Centre
Alice Pung, Amani Haydar, and Susan Carland

What happens when trauma intersects with motherhood – and how do mothers and...

Parliamentary Privilege: Bias, Boys’ Clubs and Women in Politics

3 August 2021
The Wheeler Centre
Celeste Liddle, Julia Banks, Yasmin Poole, and...

This conversation originally scheduled to take place on Tuesday 27...

Poetry Month Gala

4 August 2021
The Wheeler Centre
Tony Birch, Evelyn Araluen, Simon Ortiz, Anahera...

Rita Dove once said that ‘poetry is language at its most distilled and most...

Peter Doherty: An Insider's Plague Year

5 August 2021
The Wheeler Centre
Peter Doherty and Sally Warhaft

‘I’ve worked on aspects of infection and immunity for almost six decades...

Full Bloom

9 August 2021
The Wheeler Centre
Clem Bastow, Sara El Sayed, Shelley Parker-Chan,...

Whether we’re talking early bloomers, late bloomers, or those who are right...