GALAs 2015: On Five. A Gala Night of Storytelling.
2015 marks the Wheeler Centre’s fifth birthday, and to celebrate, we bring you a very special chapter of our beloved annual tradition: A Gala Night of Storytelling.
A dozen of Australia’s best writers and storytellers came together in the Melbourne Town Hall on one big night, to share their take on a central theme: ‘five’.
You'll hear stories from Maxine Beneba Clarke, Tim Flannery, Ellen van Neerven, Stephanie Alexander, Robert Dessaix, Anita Heiss, Mark Colvin, Michael Leunig, Eddie Perfect, Robyn Annear and William McInnes.
Mark Colvin is an Australian journalist, filmmaker and broadcaster. He has been the presenter of PM, one of the flagship Australian radio current affairs programs on the ABC Radio network, since 1997.
Maxine Beneba Clarke is the author of six books, including the ABIA and Indie award-winning short fiction collection Foreign Soil (2014), and the critically acclaimed memoir The Hate Race (2016), which is currently being adapted for the Australian stage. Her poetry collection Carrying The World won the 2017 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Poetry.
Eddie Perfect is one of Australia’s most diverse, respected and prolific writer/composer/performers. At the age of 37, he has already made his mark in the fields of comedy, music theatre composition and book-writing, playwrighting, screenwriting, classical music, jazz and acting for stage and screen.
Ellen van Neerven is Mununjali from the Yugambeh language group of South East Queensland on her mother’s side. Her first book Heat and Light (UQP, 2014) was the recipient of the David Unaipon Award, the Dobbie Literary Award and the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards Indigenous Writers Prize. Heat and Light was also shortlisted for the Stella Prize, the Queensland Literary Award for State Significance and the Readings Prize. Ellen was named as a Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Australian Novelist in 2015.
Tim Flannery has published over thirty books including the award-winning The Future Eaters, The Weather Makers, Atmosphere of Hope and Here on Earth and the novel The Mystery of the Venus Island Fetish. In 2005 he was named Australian Humanist of the Year, and in 2007, Australian of the Year.
In 2007 he co-founded and was appointed Chair of the Copenhagen Climate Council. In 2011 he became Australia’s Chief Climate Commissioner, and in 2013 he founded the Australian Climate Council. His current book is Sunlight and Seaweed.
Stephanie Alexander AO is regarded as one of Australia's great food educators. Her reputation has been earned through her thirty years as an owner-chef in several restaurants, as the author of 14 influential books and hundreds of articles about food matters, and for her groundbreaking work in creating the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation.
In 2014 Stephanie became an Officer of the Order of Australia in recognition of her work with the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation. Her strong belief is that the earlier children learn about food through example and pleasurable hands-on experience, the better their food choices will be throughout life. Her new book, The Cook’s Table, is released October 2016.
Robert Dessaix is a writer, translator, broadcaster and occasional essayist.
Anita Heiss is the author of non-fiction, historical fiction, commercial women's fiction, poetry, social commentary and travel articles. She is a Lifetime Ambassador of the Indigenous Literacy Foundation and a proud member of the Wiradjuri nation of central NSW. Anita was a finalist in the 2012 Human Rights Awards and the 2013 Australian of the Year Awards. She lives in Brisbane.
Michael Leunig has been drawing and writing for Australian newspapers since 1965. He was born in Melbourne and now lives on a farm in north-eastern Victoria. His work has been widely published overseas and has been adapted in Australia for television, theatre and radio.
Best known for her books Bearbrass: Imagining Early Melbourne and A City Lost and Found: Whelan the Wrecker’s Melbourne, Robyn Annear is also the author of an unpublishable novel set in the city in 1893.
William McInnes is one of Australia’s most popular writers, delighting readers with his memoirs A Man’s Got to have a Hobby and That’d be Right, his novels Cricket Kings and The Laughing Clowns, and his insight into Australian life since the 1940s, written with Essential Media and Entertainment, The Making of Modern Australia. In 2011, with his wife Sarah Watt, he co-wrote Worse Things Happen at Sea, which was named the best non-fiction title in the ABIA and the Indie Awards in 2012. His latest book is Holidays.
Michael Williams is the Director of the Wheeler Centre.