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Fudge Mountains and 'Creepy' Covers: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Turns 50

This year is the fiftieth anniversary of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Factory, one of the world’s most beloved children’s books. Celebrations include the posthumous publication of a ‘lost’ early chapter of the book, and a Modern Classics adult edition of the book, with a controversial ‘creepy’ cover. We look at the celebrations, our attitudes to children’s books, the trend of posthumous publication of classic authors, and the wisdom (or not) of adult editions of children’s books.

File under: Dailies (01 Sep 14)

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Julia Gillard

Julia Gillard was sworn in as the 27th prime minister of Australia on 24 June 2010 and served in that office until June 2013. Previously, following the Australian Labor Party’s victory at the 2007 federal election, she served as deputy prime minister and Minister for Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and Social Inclusion.

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Indigenous Voices

With the proliferation of new media tools, Indigenous Australians are some of the most innovative new media users. They’re engaging previously overlooked communities and enabling citizens in new

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Helen Garner & Elena Kats-Chernin

All of our lives have soundtracks. We cherish certain songs that have meant something to us, and lyrics that have helped us through tough times and inspired us to do better, or think differently

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Don Watson: The Bush

Don Watson grew up on a farm in East Gippsland – he’s part of the bush. But what is it? The untouched wilderness, or the land worked by farmers, loggers and cattlemen? The past of Henry Lawson or

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Ignoramus Anonymous

There’s a support group for everything these days, from fear of flying to overeating.

Do you ever feel like you don’t know anything … that there are all kinds of important (and not so important

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Bindi Cole

Award-winning artist Bindi Cole was born in 1975 in Melbourne, Australia. She studied at Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE and the University of Ballarat. Bindi is a resilient and ingenious Melbourne-born photographer, curator and new media artist with Wadawurrung heritage who speaks compellingly about taboo topics through her photographs, videos and installations.

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Friday High Five: Swearing, Kate Bush and Heart of Darkness

The illustrated Heart of Darkness. Jeanette Winterson on her love for Kate Bush. The dos and don'ts of workplace swearing. Emily Perkins on Robyn Davidson’s Tracks and candour vs confession when it comes to memoirs. Lena Dunham’s New Yorker essay on anxiety and therapy.

File under: Dailies (29 Aug 14)

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Omar Musa and Maxine Beneba Clarke

Maxine Beneba Clarke won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript for Foreign Soil, a stunning short-story collection whose settings span the world, from Footscray to

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20th Century Jewish Literature

Steven J. Zipperstein will immerse us in the rich universe of twentieth century Jewish literature, taking us through the great authors, and explaining the significance, context and the essence of

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Working with Words: Jessie Cole

We speak to novelist Jessie Cole about immersing herself in another world when she writes, being encouraged by Kate Grenville just before her first ever speaking gig, and being told by a reader that an event in her first novel, Darkness on the Edge of Town, couldn’t have happened (with no evidence other than her personal experience to support the claim).

File under: Dailies (28 Aug 14)

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The Fifth Estate: The Whistleblowers

File under: Videos (28 Aug 14)

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Big Issues: The Fictional Kind

On the 10th anniversary of The Big Issue’s fiction edition, the magazine’s associate editor, Melissa Cranenburgh, reflects on the challenges and rewards of making (and selling) the edition. And she tells why it’s important that, unlike most short-story collections, it needs to sell copies in the thousands: because the magazine’s reason for existence is to enable homeless and unemployed people to make a living.

File under: Dailies (27 Aug 14)

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Behind the Event: With Lit Hop Producer Vikki Woods

What’s it like to develop a big, one-off literary event, from scratch? What are the challenges and rewards of the process? And how exactly do you put on a literary pub crawl, with trams (and non-drinking elements), as part of a statewide literary festival? We talk to Vikki Woods, organiser of Lit Hop.

File under: Dailies (26 Aug 14)

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Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Indigenous Writing

Join us on Indigenous Literacy Day, as we announce the winner of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Indigenous Writing, one of the prestigious suite of Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards

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Is There Anything More Than This?: Thoughts on Death and Dying

After a week in which too many good people died, Bronwyn Meyrick reflects on death, drawing on some very different books that debate the existence (and dubious comfort) of an afterlife, blending neuroscience and experience.

File under: Dailies (25 Aug 14)

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Friday High Five: Shark vs Internet, How to Apply for Grants & Musical Science

Alice Pung returns to her childhood suburb of Braybrook to reflect on education, advancement and paths out of poverty. Sharks are attacking the internet – really. Why memoir is not a status update. Science explains why the music of your adolescence will always be the best. Charlotte Wood shares the dos and don'ts of arts grants.

File under: Dailies (22 Aug 14)

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Stuck in the Midlist with You: On Being a Midlist Author

Mel Campbell published her first book, Out of Shape, last year. Since then, she’s been struggling with ideas of what it is to be a successful author … along with most of the other authors published in Australia. Here, she reflects on what it means to be in the ‘midlist’ right now: financially, personally and professionally.

File under: Dailies (21 Aug 14)

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Bat the Raven: A graphic novel by Sebastian Fowler, Hot Desk Fellowship Extracts 2014

Sebastian Fowler’s Bat the Raven is an all-ages graphic novel about an unusual little raven named Bat Ravensson, who stands out from his siblings because of his sticky-uppy head feathers, which make him look a bit like a bat, and has a rough time at school. We share a selection of his work-in-progress.

File under: Dailies (20 Aug 14)

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Eavesdropping on Artists: Hipbone Sticking Out / TEAM OF LIFE

We’ll explore how theatre can combine politics and storytelling. With theatre director Sue Giles, visual artist Bindi Cole and chair Luke Hockey.

Eavesdropping on Artists

A series of interactive

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Persistence: Fiction on Sri Lanka's Civil War by Rajith Savanadasa, Hot Desk Fellowship Extracts 2014

Rajith Savanadasa is writing a novel or collection of linked stories that re-interprets the semicircular stone slab known as a moonstone (or Sandakada Pahana) in Sri Lanka. It’s about a family living in Colombo, Sri Lanka at the end of the civil war in 2009. Each chapter’s from the perspective of a family member. This extract, written during Savanadasa’s time as a Hot Desk Fellow, is the mother’s chapter.

File under: Dailies (19 Aug 14)

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Epic Fail: Erik Jensen

File under: Videos (19 Aug 14)

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Memoir of a 'Queer Callboy': Dan Bledwich, Hot Desk Fellowship Extracts 2014

Dan Bledwich is a 29-year-old sex worker and writer who lives in Melbourne. During his Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowship, he worked on his memoir, which covers being a ‘queer callboy’, and growing up in regional Australia in an environment of abuse, neglect, and intense schoolyard bullying. We share an extract today.

File under: Dailies (18 Aug 14)

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Forgotten Rebels

File under: Videos (18 Aug 14)

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Sian Prior on Shyness

File under: Videos (18 Aug 14)

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Friday High Five: Creativity and Mental Illness, Living Off the Grid

Remembering Robin Williams. Is creativity linked to mental illness, or is it a myth? Go behind the creation of a great book cover. James Franco’s short stories are now a Coppola film. And a photo-essay on Europeans who’ve chosen to live away from mainstream society.

File under: Dailies (15 Aug 14)

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Working with Words: Andrew Nette

We speak to crime writer, reviewer and lover of all things noir Andrew Nette about being paid for your literary labour, why the best advice for writers is to just get your first draft done, and why being a writer comes from deep down within a person – and you either have the hunger to do it, or you don’t.

File under: Dailies (14 Aug 14)

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Favel Parrett

Favel Parrett burst onto the Australian literary scene in a flood of well-deserved praise (and comparisons to Tim Winton) with her darkly beautiful debut, Past the Shallows, shortlisted for the

File under: Calendar


What is the
Wheeler Centre?

The Wheeler Centre is Melbourne’s home for smart, passionate and entertaining public talks on every topic.

Across 200+ events each year, you’ll find some of our finest local and international thinkers and speakers, sharing their expertise, their imagination and their ideas.

The majority of events are free.

The Wheeler Centre is the centrepiece of the Victorian Government’s City of Literature initiative.


Where to
find us

The Wheeler Centre Auditorium

176 Little Lonsdale Street
Melbourne
Victoria 3000

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