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Teen Gala: Art and Language


Event Status

At this gala event, an all-teen lineup will explore and experiment at the intersection of words and pictures. We’re bringing together Victoria’s best young storytellers and spoken word performers to lead us into a world of pure imagination.

Prepare for a night of sensory delights, as each performance is accompanied by a digital artwork splashed on the Wheeler Centre big screen. Reignite the embers of creativity and witness the combination of art and language bringing stories to life.

Presented by the Wheeler Centre and the National Gallery of Victoria

Unfortunately Fig Russon is no longer able to appear at this event.


Red Brazil

I am a 13 year old boy from the Macedon Ranges. I play soccer and guitar and love the Beach Boys. I can’t say I like poetry because I have read all the books and the poets, because I haven’t read any. But what I like is how it can appeal to anyone regardless of experience. I like to have fun w... Read more

Zuva Goverwa

Zuva is a passionate young creative, with a keen interest in music, writing and public speaking. Winner of the 2021 Plain English Speaking Award State Final, she is a strong believer in the power of young people to change the world – and the necessity of foregrounding their voices in conversat... Read more

Finnan Hanney

Finnan is a sixteen-year-old born and raised in Melbourne. He is a VCE student, in to music, reading and sport. He was previously shortlisted for the Boroondara Literary Awards, and has a budding interest in fiction writing.

Mason Johns

Mason Johns is a year 11 student. He lives in Melbourne with his parents, a tabby cat, and a fluffy dog. When he’s not at school, you might find him training with his athletics club, running with his dog, reading, reading about running or seeing his friends.

Charlie Mackenzie

Charlie Mackenzie is a 15 year old musical theatre performer, she also writes acoustic folk and rock music. Charlie is in love with 80’s music and grew up with artists like Queen, Stevie Wonder, Tears for Fears and Kate Bush however she takes much inspiration from modern artists like Phoebe Bridge... Read more

Lee Pennefather

Lee Peenfather is a 15-year-old writer and poet from Melbourne. In 2021, Lee became the overall state champion of the OutLoud Slam Poetry Competition with their poem “What Would You Say,” which explored their experience as a queer gender diverse teen. Lee has gone on to perform in multiple Wheel... Read more

Eric Vien

Eric Vien is a Year 10 student in Melbourne and has an interest in expressing his thoughts through creative writing. He is the 2021 OutLoud Poetry Slam Champion in the Year 9 to 12 Category with his poem titled ‘I love you’. Alongside this, he enjoys listening to music, shopping with his... Read more

Avery Yu

Avery (they/them) is a year 9 student in Melbourne. They have a strong interest in writing and performance, and previously performed in the finals of the 2021 OutLoud Poetry Slam.

Sharon Zhang

Sharon Zhang is an Asian-Australian, Melbourne-based poet and author. Her work has been published by Asian American Writer’s Workshop, Voiceworks, Rust + Moth, and elsewhere. She is a mentee at Adroit and an editor at Polyphony Lit. She is a 2022 Foyle Young Poet of the year and the author of ... Read more


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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.