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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.


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 Wrightso... Read more

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... Read more

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 direc... Read more


Theatrette, Immigration Museum

400 Flinders St, Melbourne VIC 3000

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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land on which we live and work. We pay our respects to the people of the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past and present.