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Teen Gala 2023


Event Status

Watch the live-stream


Join talented young writers, actors, comedians and poets at this year’s Wheeler Centre Teen Gala. Hear from a host of vibrant teen voices, who will share powerful stories, speeches, and performances.

Don’t miss this truly stellar line-up, offering an inspiring glimpse of creative voices to watch. The future is in great hands.

The event will be live-streamed on this page and will be viewable from 5pm on 2 December 2023.


Accessible toilets available

Assistive Listening

Registered Assistance Animals welcome

Wheelchair accessible

You can learn more about the Wheeler Centre’s accessibility policies here. 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


Wheeler Education encourages creativity and critical thinking on a range of issues, offering a range of events that prioritises the voices and experiences of young people – on the stage, and off. In our dynamic and interactive events, we’ll hear from young people about the challenges facing them right now, we’ll equip them with the skills they need to participate in important public conversations and, most of all, we’ll celebrate their passions, their ideas, and their stories.


Wheeler Education


Corbin Afanasyev

Corbin is a graduate of Nossal High School with a passion for public speaking, debating, theatre and linguistics. As a Russian-speaking immigrant from Kazakhstan, and a transgender man, his support for LGBTQ+ rights, politics, trans liberation, multiculturalism and linguistic diversity are deeply pe... Read more

Juliet Beattie

Juliet is a fourteen-year-old girl who has been fortunate enough to grow up with a passport constantly in hand. While finding her home in United States, Malaysia and Australia, Juliet has found a love for reading and writing. The diversity of storytelling throughout these cultures and lands is her i... Read more

Wesley Chen

Wesley is a recent high school graduate and a Kwong Lee Dow Scholar at the University of Melbourne. He has a background of community service in his local area, Monash City, and a special interest in Mental Health, Youth Voice and Indigenous Australia. Wesley avidly champions youth rights, previously... Read more

Saskia de Leeuw Kyle

Saskia de Leeuw Kyle (she/her) is a writer and aspiring journalist based in Melbourne. She loves to write and read fiction (especially YA romcoms). You can find her work on the website Rosie Respect. She was a member of the 2023 YMCA Youth Press Gallery and the winner of the 2023 One Teen Story Comp... Read more

Felix Griffin

Felix is an aspiring young public speaker at Preston High School. He can’t wait to grow up and be able to make a change in the world through the art of public speaking. He is passionate about maths, poetry and science. Felix would like to thank their friends and family for giving them the confiden... Read more

Mali Hawke

Mali Hawke is a stand-up comedian. He has most recently hosted Up Next Comedy at Arts Centre Melbourne, was a finalist in The Melbourne Comedy Festival’s Class Clowns in 2021, and has since performed in various other lineups including Wheeler Centre’s ‘Mum’s The Word’ g... Read more

Poppy Holden

Poppy Holden is a Year 10 student from Melbourne.

She won the Stonnington ‘What’s Your Story?’ competition in 2019 and 2021, and the VATE ‘A Story in Miniature’ in 2022. She has always loved stories – reading them and writing them.

Abigail Kay

Abigail Kay is a year 9 student who lives in the outer reaches of Melbourne with her family, her dog, her cat, two guinea pigs and a stick insect. She won the Year 7-9 OutLoud Secondary Slam 2023. Abi developed a passion for reading and writing at a very young age. Much of her work stems from her lo... Read more

Reggie Lee

Reggie is a young singer/songwriter from Melbourne. They find solace in writing music, drawing inspiration from a range of genres.


Rehe Kōrero are the 2023 Word – The Front Line Champions! Winning the title after competing against hundreds of poets from across Tāmaki Makaurau in the largest youth poetry event in Aotearoa New Zealand. Milan Moala, Piremina Ngapera, Koromiko Jacob-Williams and Billy McCarthy are powerful indi... Read more

Fig Russon-Jorgensen

Fig is a 17-year-old emerging poet and artist. They grew up in rural Victoria, and much of their work is inspired by the bush terrain where they grew up, finding ways to integrate the themes of native Australian flora and fauna into their artworks. Fig has performed previously at the 2022 Teen Gala,... Read more

Claudia Sherman

Claudia Sherman is a Year 12 student from Melbourne. Claudia’s love of literature, history, and travel has encouraged her passion for writing. She aspires to explore and develop this in her future.


The Wheeler Centre

176 Little Lonsdale Street Melbourne Victoria 3000

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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.