Skip to content

Mixtape Memories: A Gala of Story and Song


Event Status

For the Wheeler Centre’s 2022 end-of-year gala, some of our favourite writers, performers and music lovers share the songs that have soundtracked their lives' greatest hits (or heartbreaking misses) in an evening of tales and tunes.


What song rocked your world? What have you played on repeat, worked through heartbreak to, or bellowed in celebration? We’ve asked some of our favourite artists, writers and comedians to answer these burning questions live at Melbourne Recital Centre, as we farewell 2022 and roar into the new year in full voice with a gala evening of story and song.

A stellar line-up of creatives – including author Claire G Coleman; writer and appearance activist Carly Findlay; author of Hip Hop & Hymns and Digital Journalist, Popular Culture for ABC News Mawunyo Gbogbo; comedian and RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under judge Rhys Nicholson; political journalist Amy Remeikis; writer, singer and comedian Em Rusciano; and Attica owner and head chef Ben Shewry – will reflect on the songs that have soundtracked their lives, compiling a live mixtape of defining musical moments.

Hosted by Spicks and Specks’ Myf Warhurst, this end-of-year spectacular will feature all-star musical performances by guest singers including June Jones, Loretta Miller, Cash Savage and Thndo alongside the Mixtape Memories house band (Fran Swinn, James McLean, Sam Keevers and Tamara Murphy). The evening will also include a special musical tribute to the late, great Uncle Archie Roach by his long-time friends and collaborators Paul Grabowsky and Jess Hitchcock.

Please note Georgia Mooney will no longer be appearing at this event.

This event is part of ALWAYS LIVE, a new state-wide celebration of contemporary live music supported by the Victorian Government through Visit Victoria.

Mixtape Memories is supported by the Melbourne City Revitalisation Fund, a Victorian Government and City of Melbourne partnership.

Artwork by Pilgim Hodgson. 


Auslan Interpreted

Wheelchair accessible

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

To help you make the most of your experience, Melbourne Recital Centre have created a range of access resources, available on their website.


Claire G. Coleman

Claire G. Coleman is a Noongar woman whose family have belonged to the south coast of Western Australia since long before history started being recorded. Claire writes fiction, essays, poetry and art writing while either living in Naarm (Melbourne) or on the road. During an extended circuit of the c... Read more

Carly Findlay

Carly Findlay OAM is an award-winning writer, speaker and appearance activist. Her first book, a memoir called Say Hello, was released in January 2019. Carly edited the anthology Growing Up Disabled in Australia with Black Inc Books. It’s in stores now. She writes on disability and appearance... Read more

Mawunyo Gbogbo

Mawunyo Gbogbo is the author of Hip Hop & Hymns: a memoir of loving hard, falling apart and fighting back, set to an unrivalled playlist. Published by Penguin Random House Australia, Hip Hop & Hymns is described by Books+Publishing as ‘a beautiful and heart-wrenching memoir’... Read more

Paul Grabowsky

It is difficult to describe Paul’s career easily. He has directed of some of Australia’s most prominent festivals, composed nearly thirty feature film scores, and several works of music theatre, founded and lead for nineteen years of the Australian Art Orchestra, was an executive at the ... Read more

Jess Hitchcock

Award-winning performer, Jess Hitchcock, draws inspiration for songwriting from her family origins in the Top Western Region of the Torres Straits and from Papua New Guinea. Jess performs as a solo artist and has also joined forces on stage and in the studio with Paul Kelly, Archie Roach, Tina Are... Read more

June Jones

Written, recorded, and produced in a small studio apartment during her first year of living alone, Pop Music for Normal Womenis an inventive, energetic, intense and amusing journey through eight new pop songs by singer/songwriter/producer June Jones. The album marks a move away from the slower, mor... Read more

Sam Keevers

House band pianist Sam Keevers has lived in Melbourne since 1991 and is a graduate of the QLD Conservatorium of Music, Victorian College of the Arts and the Australian Film Television and Radio School. He was a Wangaratta Jazz Awards finalist in 1992 and 1999 and a Freedman Jazz Fellowship finalist ... Read more

James McLean

House band drummer James McLean is from Melbourne, Australia and works at the intersections of movement, rhythm, and improvisation. James’ practice sees him working as a solo artist, a bandleader, and an ensemble member in numerous ensembles and styles, spanning from modern jazz to experimental im... Read more

Loretta Miller

Loretta Miller is a musical shapeshifter with a voice that can slip between genres with ease. Often referred to by her peers as one of Australia’s finest vocalists, Loretta was recently chosen to perform the vocal parts for the new Australian feature film “Seriously Red.” As front ... Read more

Tamara Murphy

Tamara Murphy (bassist/composer) is based in Melbourne, Australia. She has performed with Kate Miller-Heidke, Ali McGregor, Harry Angus, Clio Renner, Andrea Keller, Nat Bartsch, Paul Grabowsky and Stephen Magnusson and many more artists in addition to her own band, Spirograph Studies. She has toured... Read more

Rhys Nicholson
Rhys Nicholson

Rhys Nicholson is a multi-award winning Australian stand-up, writer, actor and collager. With an enormous passion for live performing, their work continues to receive awards and accolades around the world. As well as numerous televised stand up performances in Australia, the UK and Canada, in early ... Read more

Amy Remeikis

Amy Remeikis is a political reporter with The Guardian, helming its popular Politics Live blog and a regular contributor to The Project, The Drum, Insiders and ABC radio. She is also the author of the best selling, On Reckoning.

Em Rusciano

Em Rusciano is one of the most talented and in demand entertainers in Australia. Em is a comedian, singer, writer, storyteller and broadcaster. She hosts the Emsolation podcast which was Australia’s first Spotify exclusive show. Em is also a regular panellist on Network Ten’s The Project. Em... Read more

Cash Savage

In an era when the world is falling apart with such a deafening roar, Cash Savage’s voice rings loud over the cacophony. Songs of politics, grief, songs of rage – this is weighty music that has been written to cut through the noise. Savage’s band The Last Drinks are a powerhouse of fierce and ... Read more

Ben Shewry
Ben Shewry

Ben Shewry was born in New Zealand in 1977 and moved to Melbourne, Australia in 2002, before taking on his first head chef role at Attica in 2005. Originally obsessed with the detail and balance of Thai food, Ben began to develop a style at Attica that reflected his rural New Zealand upbringing and,... Read more

Fran Swinn

House band guitarist Fran Swinn has carved out her own sound in the Australian musical landscape. She has studied and performed extensively locally and internationally. Swinn has a diverse range, touring Australia with Circus Oz in 2009, and running her own band The Fran Swinn Trio. In 2011 her tri... Read more


The Australian music scene is no stranger to Thndo (fka Thando). The widely loved Zimbabwean-born ‘First Lady of Soul and R&B’ has commanded massive crowds at festivals such as Bluesfest, WOMAdelaide, Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Groovin the Moo, BigSound, Jungle Love, Woodford Folk Festival a... Read more

Myf Warhurst

Myf Warhurst grew up in regional Victoria and studied music and fine arts at Melbourne University. After writing arts and music stories for The Age and street magazine Inpress, she became Managing Editor of Inpress in 1999. After her first radio gig as showbiz reporter on Merrick and Rosso̵... Read more


Melbourne Recital Centre

31 Sturt Street Southbank Victoria 3006

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.