The Wheeler Centre Gala 2012: Stories to Believe In
Taking the lead from George Bernard Shaw, who claimed ‘It is not disbelief that is dangerous to our society; it is belief’, we opened our brand new year of programming by dedicating our annual tradition – the Wheeler Centre Gala Night – to that thorniest and most topical of themes: belief.
11 writers took to the stage to explore the concept of belief from a perspective of their choosing.
· Gillian Mears
· Bob Franklin
· Randa Abdel-Fatah
· Alice Pung
· Kaz Cooke
· Elliot Perlman
· Carrie Tiffany
· Andy Griffiths
· Lally Katz
· Tony Birch
· Casey Bennetto
Gillian Mears grew up in the northern New South Wales town of Grafton. Acclaim came early, with her short story collections and novels winning major prizes.
Bob Franklin is a highly respected writer, actor and comedian (perhaps most recognisable from The Librarians, Stupid Stupid Men and Thank God You’re Here).
Randa Abdel-Fattah works as a litigation lawyer and is also an internationally published award-winning author of six novels, with two more due for release in 2012.
Alice Pung is the bestselling author of Her Father’s Daughter, which won the 2012 Western Australia Premier’s Literary Awards, and Unpolished Gem which won the 2007 Australian Book Industry Newcomer of the Year Award; and is also published in the UK, Germany, Indonesia and the US. She is also the editor of Growing Up Asian in Australia.
Kaz Cooke is a former reporter and cartoonist turned history detective. She is also the author of the bestselling books Up The Duff, Kidwrangling, Girl Stuff, Girl Stuff 8–12, Women’s Stuff, and the children's picture books Wanda Linda Goes Berserk and The Terrible Underpants.
Her new novel, Ada, grew out of her research and exhibition during a Creative Fellowship at the State Library of Victoria, 2013–2015.
Carrie Tiffany is an agricultural journalist and the author of two multi award-winning novels, Everyman’s Rules for Scientific Living and Mateship with Birds.
Tony Birch is the author of the books Shadowboxing (2006), Father's Day (2009), Blood (2011), shortlisted for the Miles Franklin literary award, and The Promise (2014). His new novel, Ghost River, will be released in October 2015. Both his fiction and nonfiction writing has been published widely in literary magazines and anthologies, both in Australia and internationally. He is currently the inaugural Bruce McGuinness Research Fellow within the Moondani Balluk Centre at Victoria University.
Elliot Perlman is an award-winning writer of one short story collection and three novels. He lives in Melbourne, where he also works as a barrister.
Andy Griffiths is one of Australia’s most popular children’s authors. He has written more than 25 books, including short stories, comic novels, nonsense verse, picture books, plays and a creative writing guide for students and teachers.
Lally Katz is an award-winning Melbourne based playwright. Her play Goodbye Vaudeville Charlie Mudd premiered at Malthouse Theatre and won the Louis Esson Prize for Drama at the 2009 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards.
Casey Bennetto is an award-winning writer, musician and radio broadcaster. He wrote the musical KEATING!, hosts the program Superfluity on Melbourne’s 3RRR, and has appeared in places as diverse as ABCTV’s Spicks and Specks, the Melbourne International Arts Festival and the Festival of Dangerous Ideas at Sydney Opera House.