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Make It New: 2021 and Beyond


Event Status

This year, 2020, marks the Wheeler Centre’s tenth birthday. It hasn’t turned out exactly how we planned, but many events and milestones have taken unusual shapes and forms this year. 

Few of us could have predicted the events of this painful, bizarre, confusing and at times, strangely exhilarating year. But why should that stop us from dreaming about the future, imagining how we might rebuild things, and planning better days – or at least a new-new normal?

In our closing event of the year, we’re bringing together brilliant speakers to reflect on these momentous times, and to share their hopes for what might lie ahead. What have we learned about ourselves and our communities from living through the changes of 2020? What do we want to leave behind? What new insights and resolutions – hazy or crystal clear – will propel us into 2021 and beyond?

At this very special digital event, Trent Dalton and Bruce Pascoe will share speculations and imaginings for the future; then they’ll appear in conversation with Wheeler Centre CEO Caro Llewellyn. With a Welcome to Country from N’arweet Carolyn Briggs, and poetic performances from Paul Kelly and Jazz Money. Crack open the champagne with us (or not) as we blow out our birthday candles, farewell 2020 and cheer for the arrival of 2021. 

This is the final event in the Wheeler Centre’s tenth birthday year; a year where things haven’t turned out exactly as expected. It’s been a difficult time in the literary sector, but we’re proud of the smart and engaging digital events we’ve presented and of the work opportunities for writers we’ve created throughout this time.

We hope you’ll consider supporting us, and the exciting programme we have planned for 2021, with your ticket purchase or by adding a tax-deductible in-cart donation with your booking.


Portrait of Caro Llewellyn
Caro Llewellyn

Caro Llewellyn is CEO of the Wheeler Centre and the author of four works of non-fiction including the 2020 Stella Prize shortlisted memoir, Diving into Glass, which is about her father’s polio and her own MS diagnosis. She’s also the former artistic director of several large-scale literary festi... Read more

N'arweet Carolyn Briggs

N’arweet Dr Carolyn Briggs AM is a Boon Wurrung senior elder and is the chairperson and founder of the Boon Wurrung Foundation. A descendant of the First Peoples of Melbourne, the Yaluk-ut Weelam clan of the Boon Wurrung, she is the great-granddaughter of Louisa Briggs, a Boon Wurrung woman ... Read more

Trent Dalton

Trent Dalton is a staff writer for the Weekend Australian magazine and a former assistant editor of the Courier Mail. He’s a two-time winner of a Walkley Award for Excellence in Journalism, a four-time winner of a Kennedy Award for Excellence in NSW Journalism and a four-time winner of the nationa... Read more

Paul Kelly

Paul Kelly was born in Adelaide, one of nine children, in 1955. He wrote his first song in 1976 and has been making records since 1978, over thirty to date. He has collaborated with many other songwriters and written music for film and theatre. His prose has appeared in Meanjin, The Monthly, Roll... Read more

Bruce Pascoe

Bruce Pascoe is a Yuin, Bunurong and Tasmanian man born in the Melbourne suburb of Richmond. He’s the author of the best-selling Dark Emu, Young Dark Emu: A Truer History, Loving Country: A Guide to Sacred Australia and over thirty other books including the short story collections Night Animals... Read more

Jazz Money

Jazz Money is a poet, digital producer and filmmaker of Wiradjuri heritage, currently based on the beautiful sovereign lands of the Darug and Gundungurra nations. Her poetry has been published and spoken widely across so-called ‘Australia,’ and reimagined as murals, installation and film. Jazz i... Read more


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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.