Wheeler Education

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Photo: Tiny Empire Collective

at Theatrette, Immigration Museum

Mapping Culture: Objects of Inspiration

A dog-eared book. A worn piece of clothing. A shard of porcelain. Objects have the power to evoke whole worlds from their material forms. To shake memories loose. To unleash creativity. To become the story. 

In Leanne Hall’s The Gaps, news of Yin Mitchell’s abduction sends her classmates down a frightening rabbit hole. In Rebecca Lim’s Tiger Daughter, Wen Zhou explores a life her parents never envisaged. And in the current Immigration Museum exhibition Becoming You: an Incomplete Guide which celebrates pivotal coming-of-age moments via real life stories – journalist Santilla Chingaipe reflects on the process of entering adulthood. What are the stories that define us? And how can distinctive objects inspire us to capture them on the page?

In this event for creative teens and aspiring writers, Leanne, Rebecca and Santilla will share the objects that have influenced their writing and, with practical advice and prompts, discuss the works that have sprung from them. 

This event is presented in partnership with the Immigration Museum, and will be followed by an introduction and visit to the Becoming You exhibition, where participants will have the opportunity to reflect on the objects and moments that make up their own lives.

The online bookseller for this event is The Kids’ Bookshop.

Presented in partnership with the Immigration Museum

Note: The panel discussion is from 12.30pm – 1.15pm and is directly followed by an exhibition visit from 1.30pm – 2.20pm.


Portrait of Leanne Hall

Leanne Hall

Leanne Hall is an author of young adult and children's fiction. Her debut novel, This Is Shyness, won the 2009 Text Prize for Children's and Young Adult Writing, and was followed by a sequel, Queen of the Night. Her novel for younger readers, Iris and the Tiger, won the Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children's Literature at the 2017 NSW Premier's Literary Awards.

Leanne Hall is an award-winning author of young adult and children's fiction, including This Is Shyness and Iris and the Tiger. Leanne has had shorter pieces published in Meanjin, Best Australian Stories and the anthology Growing Up Asian In Australia. Her latest work is the YA novel, The Gaps. You can find her at

Portrait of Rebecca Lim

Rebecca Lim

Rebecca Lim is an Australian writer, illustrator, editor and lawyer. She is the author of over twenty books, including The Astrologer's Daughter (a Kirkus Best Book of 2015 and CBCA Notable Book for Older Readers), Wraith and the internationally bestselling Mercy. Her work has been shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Literary Awards and Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards, shortlisted multiple times for the Aurealis Awards and Davitt Awards, and longlisted for the Gold Inky Award and the David Gemmell Legend Award. Rebecca is a co-founder of the Voices from the Intersection initiative to support emerging young adult and children's authors and illustrators who are First Nations, People of Colour, LGBTIQA+ or living with disability, and is a co-editor of Meet Me at the Intersection, a groundbreaking anthology of YA #OwnVoice memoir, poetry and fiction. Her most recent novel, Tiger Daughter, was published in February 2021. It is a powerful novel about growing up Asian in Australia.

Portrait of Santilla Chingaipe

Santilla Chingaipe

Santilla Chingaipe is a journalist and filmmaker whose work explores migration, cultural identities and politics. She is a regular contributor to the Saturday Paper, and serves as a member of the Federal Government’s Advisory Group on Australia-Africa Relations (AGAAR). 

Chingaipe wrote and directed the documentary series Third Culture Kids for the ABC. Other credits include the short documentary Black As Me.

Her first book of non-fiction detailing the stories of convicts of African descent transported to the Australian penal colonies, is forthcoming with Picador in 2021.

The recipient of several awards, Chingaipe was recognised at the United Nations as one of the most influential people of African descent in the world in 2019. 

Wheeler Education

Being a teenager is all about change. Adolescence is when most of us form a sense of the world, try to find our place in it and (hopefully) have some fun along the way. Beyond what we learn at school, some of our most valuable learning happens when we discover the communities and ideas that connect us.

In the extraordinary times we live in, Wheeler Education is here to bring the world to teens – and teens to the world. We’ll explore the challenges facing young people right now, and the bold ways they’re envisioning their own futures. Hear from teens, writers, and educators about their passions, plans, survival tips and more.


More about this venue, including large map, parking, public transport and accessibility.