Introducing our new CEO, Caro Llewellyn

Today marks the beginning of a new era at the Wheeler Centre, with news of the appointment of our new CEO. 

We’re excited to announce the appointment of Caro Llewellyn as the Wheeler Centre’s new CEO. 

Black and white photograph of Caro Llewellyn

Photo: Beowulf Sheehan

Llewellyn brings a distinguished career in literature and events, spanning several continents, to the leadership of the Wheeler Centre.

Melbourne-based Llewellyn began her life in literature as a publicist for publisher Random House before being appointed as the artistic director and CEO of Sydney Writers’ Festival (2002–2006). She was also responsible for the first-ever writer’s talk at the Sydney Opera House, later programming the Opera House Talks series.

In 2006, Llewellyn was recruited by Booker Prize-winning author Salman Rushdie to run the PEN World Voices Festival he had established for the human rights organisation, PEN America, in New York City.

Llewellyn was also the artistic director of both the New Literature from Europe Festival in New York (2013–2015) and the Paris-based Festival des Écrivains du Monde for Columbia University (2012–2015). In 2017, Llewellyn returned to Australia after 11 years living and working overseas to take up the position of Director of Experience and Engagement of Museums Victoria.

In 2019, her memoir, Diving into Glass, was published by Hamish Hamilton and was shortlisted for the Stella Prize in 2020. Most recently, she has established Together-Remotely.com, a ticketed online programme of live curated events designed to support writers, readers, booksellers and publishers impacted by COVID-19 closures.

Llewellyn was appointed as the inaugural Director of Melbourne’s Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas (now known as the Wheeler Centre) when the centre was first established in 2008, but vacated the position before starting the role for personal reasons; Chrissy Sharp led the centre as Director through its first two years, from 2009–2011. Llewellyn now succeeds Michael Williams, who worked at the Wheeler Centre from its inception – first as the Head of Programming, then as Director – before stepping down earlier this year.