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The Wheeler Centre exists to support writers, readers and thinkers. Through live and digital conversations, debates, readings, performances and discussions, it deepens public engagement with the most pressing topics of the day. It is dedicated to creative collaboration, community engagement, diversity, and innovation.

Melbourne was designated a UNESCO City of Literature in 2008 and 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, our position was secured ahead of the official opening with the commitment of our patrons, Maureen and Tony Wheeler of Lonely Planet. From that day, the Centre of Books, Writing and Ideas became the Wheeler Centre.



Since 2009, the Wheeler Centre has been firmly established at the heart of Victoria’s rich cultural life. Based in the Melbourne CBD on Little Lonsdale St, the Centre is also a hub and home for writers and key literary organisations, including the Melbourne Writers’ Festival, Writers’ Victoria, Express Media, Emerging Writers’ Festival, Australian Poetry and Small Press Network.



Our purpose

The Wheeler Centre supports and amplifies the many voices that make sense of the world through books, writing and storytelling. The Centre is committed to the discussion of ideas to enhance and strengthen the creative connections we share.

Our vision

Our vision is to inspire curiosity, connection and engagement through the transformative power of storytelling.

Our principles

The Conversations to Create Change 2021 – 2024 Strategic Plan represents an exciting next chapter for Melbourne’s iconic Wheeler Centre. Casting our eyes wider to be more outwardly focused, we pledge to be more expansive, collaborative, and innovative.

The new strategy is framed around guiding principles that:

  • Focus on people
  • Build a culture that listens
  • Welcome innovative storytelling
  • Expand the reach of the Centre’s activities to suburban, regional, interstate and international audiences across both live and digital platforms
  • Create engaging conversations to inspire all people
  • Excite diverse audiences
  • Provide a framework for bold, collaborative, and inclusive activities

To read the Conversations to Create Change 2021 – 2024 Strategic Plan click here.


Annual reports

You can download the Wheeler Centre’s annual reports (PDF format) via the links below.

Together, we can change the conversation.

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Privacy Policy

The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Owners of the land on which the Centre stands. We acknowledge and pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their Elders, past and present, as the custodians of the world’s oldest continuous living culture.