Skip to content

Jennifer Down at Montalto


Event Status

Enjoy a long lunch at Montalto with 2022 Miles Franklin Literary Award winner Jennifer Down in conversation with acclaimed writer Melanie Cheng.


Jennifer Down is one of the most acclaimed writers currently working in Australia. Since her debut novel, Our Magic Hour, was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript in 2014, she has published three works of fiction, has twice been named Sydney Morning Herald Young Novelist of the Year, and received numerous accolades including the 2018 Readings Prize and, most recently, the 2022 Miles Franklin Literary Award for her novel Bodies of Light.

Following one woman’s turbulent life from the 1970s to the present, Bodies of Light lays bare the destructive legacies of our public institutions and invites readers to engage with complex ethical dilemmas through Down’s nuanced, empathetic characterisation.

This October, join the Wheeler Centre for a shared farm-to-table lunch at Red Hill’s Montalto as Jennifer Down speaks with Melanie Cheng – the award-winning author of Australia Day and Room for a Stranger – about the creative and societal importance of not looking away.

Presented in partnership with Montalto

The bookseller for this event is Antipodes Bookshop and Gallery.


Please notify us of all access requirements when booking online so we can assist you with your visit. If you require further information, please contact reception on 03 9094 7800 or

About the book

The bookseller for this event is Antipodes Bookshop and Gallery.

Books and Ideas at Montalto

Where the literary meets the culinary.

You, a good book, a glass of wine, delicious food. Together as you were always meant to be. But with a wonderfully rich extra ingredient: a stimulating conversation with your favourite author.

Set at Montalto’s stunning Red Hill winery on the Mornington Peninsula, join some of Australia’s most beloved writers for an intimate discussion about their work – served with excellent food and wine, as a languorous lunchtime tips into a relaxed afternoon.


Books and Ideas at Montalto


Jennifer Down

Jennifer Down is a writer and editor. Her debut novel, Our Magic Hour, was shortlisted for the 2014 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript. The story collection Pulse Points won the 2018 Readings Prize and the 2018 Steele Rudd Award in the Queensland Literary Awards. ... Read more

Melanie Cheng

Melanie Cheng is a writer and general practitioner from Melbourne. She is the author of Australia Day, which won the 2018 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Fiction, and Room for a Stranger, which was longlisted for the 2020 Miles Franklin Award. Her non-fiction has been published in the G... Read more



33 Shoreham Road Red Hill South Victoria 3937

More details

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

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.