Resources > The Wheeler Centre
15 May 2012

The Wheeler Centre

Australia’s first Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas, the Wheeler Centre, opened in February 2010. The Centre is located within a newly renovated wing of the State Library of Victoria, in the heart of Melbourne’s bustling central business district, in the burgeoning cultural precinct close to Melbourne and RMIT Universities.

The establishment of the Centre is at the heart of an ambitious Victorian Government initiative which saw Melbourne designated as a UNESCO City of Literature in 2008 and join the UNESCO Creative Cities Network alongside Berlin, Montreal, Seville, Edinburgh and other global creative cities.

The Centre is a hub and home for writers and key literary organisations, including the Melbourne Writers’ Festival, Victorian Writers’ Centre, Express Media, Emerging Writers’ Festival, Australian Poetry Centre, Small Press Underground Networking Community (SPUNC), the Melbourne branch of PEN International. It provides shared meeting rooms and workshop spaces to foster collaboration, hot desks for short-term use by other writers and organisations as required and access to a large performance space with a seating capacity of 200. The Centre’s interior designers peckvonhartel won a 2010 Melbourne Design Award for Best Interior Design (Public or Institutional Project) for their work on the Centre.

The Wheeler Centre is responsible for programming a range of events across the year: the annual Premier’s Literary Awards, the prestigious annual Deakin Lectures, keynote public events including international speakers, as well as book and magazine launches, speeches, debates, seminars, poetry recitals, book readings, symposia, awards and performances.

A new Centre management organisation will coordinate the facilities and public programs. Major events will be filmed and archived on the Centre’s content-rich website for online debate and discussion.