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A comical trip through the bureaucracy of local government. A memoir of adolescence lived alongside the heart-rending rollercoaster of a mother’s mental illness. A gap between an ex-policeman father and his artsy son, bridged by stories of colourful criminal hijinks.

In this edition of The Next Big Thing, we’ll hear excerpts from three darkly funny new books tackling the spaces between people, and how we make sense of them – plus a writer from Voiceworks, to be announced.

Katherine Collette will read from her big-hearted satire, The Helpline; Justin Heazlewood from his endearing light-and-shade memoir, Get Up Mum; and Paul Verhoeven from Loose Units, a vibrant and sensitive pursuit of lineage and understanding.

Readings will be our bookseller at this event.


Stella Charls

Stella is the Wheeler Centre’s Programming Coordinator. An emerging arts manager and event producer, Stella was previously the Marketing and Events Coordinator for Readings, and the Festival Manager for the National Young Writers’ Festival, Australia’s largest gathering of young and innova... Read more

Justin Heazlewood

Justin Heazlewood is one of Australia’s most versatile storytellers. Music and comedy fans know him best as the ARIA award-nominated Bedroom Philosopher, a moniker under which Heazlewood has released several albums of incisive, brutally funny and often heartbreaking songs. Heazlewood is also a wr... Read more

Paul Verhoeven

Paul F. Verhoeven is a writer, broadcaster and entertainer. A mainstay of the Australian media landscape, he has written for ABC News Online, IGN, Smith Journal and Yen Magazine, and has spent years working extensively as a games journalist. After beginning his career hosting Weekend Breakfast on Tr... Read more

Katherine Collette

Katherine Collette is a writer and sewage engineer living in Melbourne with her husband and two children. Her debut novel, The Helpline, is being published in Australia and New Zealand by Text Publishing in September and then in the UK, North America and Italy next year.

Madison Griffiths

Madison Griffiths is an author, artist and producer. Her debut book Tissue (Ultimo Press) was released in 2022, and is a boldly poetic meditation on abortion and what it has the power to represent. She is the co-producer of Tender, a podcast that tracks the journey of individuals as they decide to ... 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.