Blak & Bright First Nations Literary Festival acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the traditional custodians of the sacred lands on which we work. We pay our respects to the people of the Kulin Nations and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, past present and future.

We recognise all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as the first storytellers; and that knowledge transfer through storytelling is imbedded in the very DNA of this Country.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, voices or names of deceased persons in photographs, film, audio recordings or printed material.

The Wheeler Centre: Performance Space

176 Little Lonsdale St
Melbourne, VIC 3000 Australia

General information

The Wheeler Centre is home to eight different literary organisations (the Wheeler Centre, Blak & Bright, Melbourne Writers Festival, Writers Victoria, Emerging Writers’ Festival, Express Media, Small Press Network, Australian Poetry and the City of Literature Office). It is also a venue that can be hired by external parties. You may be visiting to attend workshops or events held by any of these organisations, or an external hirer.

Most of the information on this page is specific to the larger Performance Space off the foyer area, and specific to events hosted by the Wheeler Centre.

We endeavour to make all our work as accessible to as many people as possible. If you have any access requirements not covered by this page, please do not hesitate to get in contact with us to discuss what we can do to accommodate you. Please get in touch via: reception@wheelercentre.com

  • We have a gender-neutral and accessible toilet in the foyer where our main event space is. This cubicle also contains a change table.
  • Assistance animals are welcome.
  • There is drinking water provided in the foyer.
  • Our space is heated and cooled with air-conditioning.
  • Carers and Companion Card holders are welcome at all of our events.
  • The Wheeler Centre’s events have unallocated seating. If you would like a reserved seat due to any of these access requirements (or any others), please include it in the space provided when making your booking, or contact us on ticketing@wheelercentre.com.
  • The foyer area can become busy, noisy and crowded immediately before an event and there are limited seats. If you need a seat, please contact a Wheeler Centre usher. We aim to open doors and allow patrons into the Performance Space around 20 minutes before the start time.
  • If you need space away from the crowd before, during or after an event, you are welcome to use our Level 3 library space. It is accessible via a lift and also via stairs. Please contact Wheeler Centre staff for directions/to be escorted up there.
  • Wheeler Centre events are subject to capacity. Once capacity is reached, we will not be able to allow anyone else into the space, even if a seat has been reserved for you in advance. If you will have trouble arriving on time but are definitely intending to attend, please let us know so that we can keep the seats aside for you.
  • The Wheeler Centre also holds events at other venues. For information about accessibility at external venues, please see our venues page.
  • We strive to make the Wheeler Centre a safe, welcoming space. If you feel uncomfortable or see ways in which we could improve our practice, please contact us by alerting a staff member on the night, or sending an email to reception@wheelercentre.com.

Accessibility and getting here

The Wheeler Centre is located at 176 Little Lonsdale Street. There is limited on-street parking in Little Lonsdale Street. The nearest commercial carpark is at QV, which has an entrance on Little Lonsdale Street.

The nearest train station is Melbourne Central (170 metres from the Wheeler Centre entrance). Access out of the train station is via a lift.

The nearest tram stops are:

  • Swanston Street, stop 8 outside Melbourne Central/State Library Victoria (routes 1-6, 16, 64, 67, 72) (110 metres from the Wheeler Centre entrance)
  • La Trobe Street, stop 7, (routes 30, 35) (220 metres from the Wheeler Centre entrance)

For a more detailed description of the venue (including audio), click here.

Accessible parking

There are two metered street-side disability parking spaces available on the left-hand side of Little Lonsdale Street – accessible from the Swanston Street end – roughly 25 metres from the Wheeler Centre’s wheelchair access ramp. These spaces are 2 hours between 7.30am-8.30pm, and unlimited outside of these hours.

There are three additional spaces on LaTrobe Street, outside Mr Tulk.

The footpaths on Little Lonsdale Street are quite narrow, and are on a slight slope, but are flat and well-surfaced. The footpaths are 1.4 metres wide at the narrowest point.

Wheeler Centre entrance

The Wheeler Centre’s foyer is accessible by either stairs or a 23 metre long ramp. At the front of the building, there are nine steep steps with a rail on either side. Each step is 25 centimetres deep. To the side of this, there is a ramp to the right-hand side of the front door as well.


The Wheeler Centre provides Auslan interpreting on request. Please contact them two weeks prior to your event.

Hearing Loop
The Wheeler Centre operates a hearing loop in our Performance Space, which allows patrons who are wearing a hearing aid to tune in to the frequency of the venue.

Physical Access

Every effort has been made to ensure that the Wheeler Centre’s events are accessible for wheelchair users or those with limited mobility. Wheeler Centre events have unallocated seating – please contact us if you require reserved seating to accommodate your access needs.

The Wheeler Centre building is accessible by a ramp located to the right of the entrance on Little Lonsdale Street, approximately 25m along. We are happy for patrons to stay in their chair or to transfer to a seat. Please let them know when you book.


Events at this venue:


Yarn Bombers

Three minute ‘bonus’ yarns from emerging community storytellers will pop up at the start of many sessions. See the future of Blak writing here first. Thank you to the Victorian Women’s Trust: Christine Friday and Kathleen Dooley Sub-Fund for giving us the opportunity to hold free masterclasses with award winning writer Jeanine Leane; and also…

March 19March 20, 2022   10.00am—6.15pm

Keynote: State of the Nations

John Paul Janke will present an overview of how First Nations’ communities are faring, with startling insights into progress made and where more improvement is needed.

March 17, 2022


This forum, specifically for LGBTQIA+ Blak writers, will have a focus on navigating the literature industry, facilitated by Ellen van Neerven. Lunch is provided by Mabu Mabu, however dietary requests are limited. This event is reserved for LGBTQIA First Nations people only. Limited spaces available so book in quick. 

March 18, 2022

Pitch Blak Afternoon Tea

The First Nations Australia Writers Network hosts our industry event where you’ll have the opportunity to pitch your work in progress to publishing industry experts.. Representatives from Allen & Unwin, Black Inc, Hachette, Hardie Grant, Harper Collins, Magabala Books, Penguin Random House, Text Publishers, UQP, Jacinta di Mase Management and more! Afternoon tea is supplied…

March 18, 2022

Sistas Are Doin’ It

Four fabulous Blak women with extraordinary lives; Aunty Ronnie Gorrie, Chelsea Watego, Nardi Simpson and moderated by Sonia Cooper. How do they juggle writing lives and busy lives? They have some stories to tell … 

March 19, 2022

Yung, Blak & Bold

Three young writers, Jazz Money, Teela May Reid and Davey Thompson, have been corresponding in the months leading up to the Festival. They’ll share snippets of their correspondence and the things that matter now.  Moderated by Bebe Backhouse.

March 19, 2022

Big Blak Poetry Read

Six of the fiercely best poets read three of their best poems. With Jazz Money, Charmaine Papertalk Green, Tony Birch, Kirli Saunders, Ellen van Neerven, plus International poet Tusiata Avia.

March 19, 2022

The Monologues

Hear the best monologues to come from Blak playwrights including Kodie Bedford, Richard Frankland, Jane Harrison, Anita Heiss, Andrea James (with Catherine Ryan), Nakkiah Lui, Maryanne Sam, Dylan Van Den Berg, Ursula Yovich (with Alana Valentine). Read by two of our finest actors.

March 19, 2022

A Big Life

These first time authors have written captivating memoirs of their extraordinary lives. We hear from Aunty Veronica Gorrie, Aunty Pattie Lees, and Adam Lees. Moderator Aunty Bev Murray.

March 20, 2022

Rainbow Words

LGBTQIA+ writers share their words and the stories behind them. With Ellen van Neerven, SJ Norman, Jazz Money. Moderator Daniel Browning

March 19, 2022