Skip to content

Bill Garner: Born in a Tent: How Camping Makes us Australian


Bill Garner – historian, playwright and television writer – is just an ordinary camper with perhaps an unusually dogged curiosity. A casual conversation at Wilson’s Promontory several years ago started him down the track of researching the history of camping in Australia. Ten years later, he has finished a PhD on the subject and written a book about it.

Born in a Tent takes the story from the campfire to the gas bottle, from a tarp slung on saplings to polymer tents and aluminium poles. It reveals how deeply our camping holidays connect us to the land, to the past, and to one another.


Sometimes there’s nothing better than a good rant. Every Thursday, the Wheeler Centre hosts an old-fashioned Speakers’ Corner in the middle of the city, where writers and thinkers can have their say on the topics that won’t let them sleep at night.

Featuring some of our most compelling voices across just about every sector of human endeavour you can imagine, the themes dominating Lunchbox/Soapbox are proudly idiosyncratic. BYO lunch. Ideas provided.



Bill Garner

Bill Garner is a camper who is also a historian, playwright, and television writer. He is the author of Born in a Tent, a radical history of Australian camping. In the 1970s, as an actor he was a founding member of the Australian Performing Group at the Pram Factory in Carlton. With Sue Gore he is c... Read more


The Wheeler Centre

176 Little Lonsdale Street Melbourne Victoria 3000

More details

Stay up to date with our upcoming events and special announcements by subscribing to the Wheeler Centre's mailing list.

View our privacy policy
Acknowledgment of Country

The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the traditional owners of the land on which we work. We pay our respects to the people of the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, past and present.