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'Multicultural Australia is Mainstream Australia': Calling for True Diversity in Our Media

How do we achieve true diversity in the Australian media – and why is it important? Fatima Measham looks at the gap between the cultural make-up of Australia and of our media, and asks what we can do to close that gap, and make sure we have a wider variety of voices and experiences representing us.

File under: Dailies (23 Jul 14)

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‘Bad People Doing Bad Things’: Justine Larbalestier On Likeability in Fiction

Justine Larbalestier is sick of reading reviews that assess books based on the ‘likeability’ of their characters. As someone who enjoys reading books about vile people she wouldn’t actually want to spend time with in real life, she explains why ‘likeability’ is not a requirement for good fiction.

File under: Dailies (22 Jul 14)

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Clem Bastow

Clem Bastow is a critic, comedian, and award-winning writer.

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Blue Movies: Sex and Sexuality on Screen

From Wetlands to My Mistress, MIFF 14 is filled with risqué business. But the question is, how do you write ‘meaningful’ sex on screen in a way that isn’t meaningless sleaze?

Writer and journalist

File under: Calendar

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Clare Wright

Clare Wright is a historian who has worked as a political speechwriter, university lecturer, historical consultant and radio and television broadcaster. She is the 2014 winner of the Stella Prize, for The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka.

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On Water: Helen Doyle

File under: Videos (21 Jul 14)

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Alexander McCall-Smith

File under: Videos (21 Jul 14)

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On Water: Michael Cathcart

File under: Videos (21 Jul 14)

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Desiree Akhavan

Iranian-American filmmaker Desiree Akhavan is the writer/director/star of Appropriate Behavior, which premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.

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Friday High Five: Printable Guns, Tourism in War Zones, Publishing Post-1996

How has publishing changed since 1996, the time of My Salinger Year? Find out why tourists are visiting war zones for kicks. Meet the anarchist duo behind the 3D printable gun and other dangerous technologies. Liam Piper on Portugal’s decriminalisation of drugs for personal use. And look ahead at the ten most anticipated Australian books of the second half of 2014.

File under: Dailies (18 Jul 14)

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Media Makers: Freedom Fighters

Mexico’s fearless campaigner against corruption Lydia Cacho, and Australian foreign correspondent Jill Joliffe are true freedom fighters. These two extraordinary activists discuss their personal

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This Writing Life: A Missive from Montreal by Josephine Rowe

Josephine Rowe describes the way a bone-chilling Montreal winter seeps into her soul, making her writing life more intensely insular. She reflects on seeking solace from greats like Mavis Gallant.

File under: Dailies (17 Jul 14)

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On Water: Yasmin Newman

File under: Videos (17 Jul 14)

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Words and War: A Great and Lasting Trauma

Was WWI the beginning of globalisation, or simply a precursor to a second global conflict that changed the face of the planet? Christopher Clark and Joan Beaumont explore the origins and impacts of W

File under: Calendar

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Ron Mueck: Two women 2005

Ron Mueck’s intensely realistic sculpture Two Women depicts two old women huddled in conversation. Figure sculptures often reflect an interest in idealised physical beauty, but the subjects of

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Working with Words: Silvia Kwon

We talk to debut novelist Silvia Kwon about what Holden Caulfield would be doing now, advice on writing from Neil Gaiman, and the struggle to approximate what’s in her head on the page – both the best and the worst parts of her job as a writer.

File under: Dailies (16 Jul 14)

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Transcending Cynicism: On Bob Brown

Optimism is not something we commonly associate with a life in politics, but recently retired Greens leader Bob Brown is an exception in more ways than one. His biographer, James Norman, reflects on Brown’s life and career – and his contribution to Australian life.

File under: Dailies (15 Jul 14)

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On Water: Simon Griffiths

File under: Videos (14 Jul 14)

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Epic Fail

If you want to succeed, you have to start by failing, and failing big. If you haven’t experienced the downside, the frustration, the rejection, then how can you appreciate the sweetness of success

File under: Calendar

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On Water: Genevieve Grieves

File under: Videos (14 Jul 14)

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Cece Ojany

Cece Ojany joined PEN Melbourne in December 2012 as the organisation’s Writers-In-Prison Officer. Her poetry has featured in various festivals including the Dandenong Laneway Festival and Federation Square’s Light In Winter Festival.

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Failing to Succeed: Australian Writers on Their Best Worst Failures

We asked Australian writers to share their stories of so-called failures that paved the way for success, or inadvertently put them on the path to achievement. With Graeme Simsion, Toni Jordan, Joel Deane, Ambelin Kwaymullina, Justin Heazlewood, Angela Savage, Sam Cooney and Brigid Delaney.

File under: Dailies (14 Jul 14)

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Let's Talk About Sex: Sex in Words

File under: Videos (14 Jul 14)

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Friday High Five: Tattoos, Gender Swapping and Gone Girl

How would Karl Ove Knausgaard’s autobiographical series ‘My Struggle’ be received if he was a woman? Peter Rose takes on John Dale on the state of Australian book reviews. The new Gone GIrl trailer. Tattoos from childhood classics. The Millions showcases their picks of the best books of the second half of 2014.

File under: Dailies (11 Jul 14)

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On Water: Helen Szoke

File under: Videos (11 Jul 14)

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The Whistleblowers

What does it mean to be a whistleblower in the 21st century?

When Edward Snowden released thousands of classified documents in June last year, information he acquired while working as an NSA

File under: Calendar

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The Fifth Estate: Faith in Politics

File under: Videos (10 Jul 14)

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Press Freedom vs Political Power

Peter Greste and Alan Morison are both Australian journalists who, with their colleagues, are subject to judicial action that challenges not only their own freedom but the fundamental principle of

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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