at Athenaeum Theatre

The Wheeler Centre Gala 2019: Crush

Awkward. Sweaty. Flushed. Euphoric. Crushes are like mini-Great Loves. They compel us to daggy earnestness while inspiring unusual boldness, even grandiosity. How much of our best writing, art and music do we owe to crushes, and the intensity they lend to our days and nights? And, actually, how much of our worst?

For our 2019 Gala Night of Storytelling, we’ve invited some of our favourite writers and thinkers to dish about their fictional crush. It may be a character of page, stage, screen or stereo – or some life-changing, out-of-reach hero of the real world.

Join us for a testament to the rush of fandom, infatuation and unabashed adoration, as our speakers moon, swoon, spill and thrill. You never know: you might end the night, and the summer, with a crush of your own.

This event will be Auslan interpreted.


Portrait of Claire G. Coleman

Claire G. Coleman

Claire G. Coleman is a writer from Western Australia. She identifies with the South Coast Noongar people. Her family are associated with the area around Ravensthorpe and Hopetoun. Claire grew up in a Forestry settlement in the middle of a tree plantation, where her dad worked, not far out of Perth.

She wrote her black&write! fellowship-winning manuscript Terra Nullius while travelling around Australia in a caravan. Terra Nullius was published by Hachette Australia and will be available in North America in 2018 with Small Beer Press. Terra Nullius won the Norma K Hemming Award, and was shortlisted for the 2018 Stella Prize and for Best Sci-Fi Novel in the 2017 Aurealis Awards. The Old Lie, coming in September 2019, is her second novel.

Portrait of Lawrence Leung

Lawrence Leung

Lawrence is an award winning stand-up comedian, screenwriter and documentary-maker. He created the ABC1 comedy shows Lawrence Leung’s Unbelievable and the AFI Award-nominated Choose Your Own Adventure and co-wrote and starred in ABC2's action/comedy series Maximum Choppage. Recently, he wrote an episode of The Family Law (SBS2) and played a sleazy nerd in Jane Campion's Top of the Lake.

Portrait of Sinéad Stubbins

Sinéad Stubbins

Sinéad Stubbins is a Melbourne-based writer. She has written for Junkee, the Guardian, frankie, Vulture and other places that let her take screenshots of actors making dumb faces.

Portrait of Faustina Agolley

Faustina Agolley

Faustina Agolley is a TV host, actor, DJ, producer and writer. She’s hosted Video Hits, The Voice and the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.  She made her stage debut with Sydney Theatre Company and Melbourne Theatre Company’s co-production of the Molière award-winning play, The Father, alongside theatre luminary John Bell in 2017. Faustina has toured Australia and New Zealand as Oprah Winfrey’s resident DJ and written for Sunday Life, Women of Letters and the upcoming anthology, Growing Up African in Australia, out through Black Inc. this April.

Portrait of Alison Evans

Alison Evans

Alison Evans is a nonbinary author from Melbourne, Australia, a regular speaker at festivals, schools and events, on writing, gender and sexuality. They are co-editor of Concrete Queers, a maker of zines and a lover of bad movies. Alison's first book, Ida (Echo), established a firm fan base of teens and adults (mostly within the queer community) who loved seeing queer and gender-diverse characters in a fun genre novel.

Their work has been published in various Australian and international magazines, lit journals and zines, and Ida was the winner of the People's Choice Award at the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards. 

Portrait of Megan Washington

Megan Washington

Modern pop’s patron saint Washington is a platinum-selling and ARIA award-winning musician who’s been known to reduce grown men to tears. The acute thinker and blistering performer has captivated music listeners with her ability to tell stories that inflate the spirit.

Portrait of Claire Hooper

Claire Hooper

Claire Hooper started on the stage – crafting engaging, innovative live shows that blended stand-up, theatre and some hammer dancing.

Her 2006 show, Oh, earned her both critical acclaim and a nomination for the Melbourne Comedy Festival’s Best Newcomer award. A born storyteller with a sharp wit, Claire has gone on to regularly perform at festivals and comedy rooms all over the country.

Portrait of Jon Faine

Jon Faine

After seven years as a lawyer, Jon entered radio broadcasting in 1989 to produce and present Radio National’s Law Report.

Portrait of George Megalogenis

George Megalogenis

George Megalogenis is an author and journalist with three decades' experience in the media. The Australian Moment won the 2013 Prime Minister's Literary Award for Non-fiction and the 2012 Walkley Award for Non-fiction, and formed the basis for his ABC documentary series Making Australia Great

Portrait of Ella Hooper

Ella Hooper

Ella Hooper made her entrance onto the Aus music landscape as the technicolour teenage frontwoman of her high school band, Killing Heidi. She traversed the highs and lows of pop rock, wrote some hits, became an unlikely teen icon, spent a fair bit of time overseas and generally lived out her youthful dreams. Eventually she dismantled the band, craving time away from pop rock, and made a country album off the back of which she toured in support of Fleetwood Mac. A fateful conversation with Grand High Witch Stevie Nicks herself being the catalyst for Ella’s full transition into ‘independent solo diva mode’. 


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