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The Wheeler Centre presents Matt Lucas, Cory Doctorow and Sam Lane

The Wheeler Centre is thrilled to announce our Season One programme. This season will feature Little Britain TV star Matt Lucas, Canadian technology activist Cory Doctorow, Carteret Island climate change community organiser Ursula Rakova, New York Times Gender Initiative director Francesca Donner, popular Australian author Rosie Waterland, Hindu newspaper columnist Annie Zaidi and local award-winning sports journalist Sam Lane.

Humorist Rosie Waterland, burlesque performer Moira Finucane, award-winning actor Leah Purcell, rapper and poet Omar Musa, playwright and novelist Patricia Cornelius, actress and director Rachael Maza, political commentator Sally Warhaft, and highest-ranking transgender military officer in the world, Catherine McGregor, come together on Monday 26 February at the Athenaeum for our first event of the year, The 2018 Wheeler Centre Gala Night of Storytelling: Words on Fire.

Canadian activist, editor, journalist and novelist Cory Doctorow has sparked and steered debates on digital rights, surveillance, automation, inequality and biotechnology. At St Kilda Town Hall (Tuesday 27 February), he joins Australian author C.S. Pacat for an expansive conversation about the imperfect present and foreseeable future.

British pop culture icon Matt Lucas joins Australian stand-up comedian Cal Wilson at St Kilda Town Hall (Monday 23 April) for a conversation about his childhood, TV and film career, new memoir and the changing spirit of comedy.

Climate change is too often discussed in the abstract – in graphs and future projections. Ursula Rakova is already living its impact as she fights to find refuge for Carteret Islanders facing rising sea levels, storms and king tides. At Witnessing Climate Change (Tuesday 6 March), Ursula will appear with Marshall Islands spoken-word artist Kathy Jetnil-KijinerNew York Times science writer Jim Robbins, and Indigenous author and environmentalist Tony Birch at the Athenaeum Theatre.

In October last year the New York Times published the first story alleging decades of sexual misconduct from Hollywood heavyweight Harvey Weinstein. The newspaper continues to play a crucial role in the evolving #MeToo movement. At Reporting the Gender Reckoning (Wednesday 7 March), the Times Gender Initiative director Francesca Donner talks with Wheeler Centre content strategist Sophie Black and local cultural commentator Matilda Dixon-Smith.

Indian writer Annie Zaidi joins Anishinaabe writer Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm and Ballardong Noongar writer Timmah Ball to talk about the modern Commonwealth at Griffith Review: Commonwealth Edition (Wednesday 4 April).

Experienced Australian Rules journalists (and fans) Sam LaneAngela Pippos and Karen Lyon are joined by Collingwood’s leading AFLW goal-kicker Moana Hope on Tuesday 27 March for AFLW 2018 Season Wrap.

Monash University law professor Rebecca Giblin asks How Do Writers Get Paid? at a panel discussion with Canadian technology activist Cory Doctorow, literary agent Clare Forster and copyright expert Zoe Rodriguez on Wednesday 28 February.

Local radio personality Hilary Harper curates and hosts this new series, Dead Calm: Honest Conversations About Death, about how we die, grieve and commemorate in Australia today. The first event, Transitions (Monday 26 March), features doctor Sarah Winch, hospice designer Efterpi Soropos and death doula Denise Love

Australian TV reporter Ali Moore hosts a rotating panel of experts in a new event series, called This is Not a Drill, thrashing out tactical responses to high-stakes contingencies. Think cybersecurity, terrorism and modern warfare.  At the first event, A Hypothetical Crisis in the South China Sea (Thursday 1 March)Moore joins former Foreign Affairs minister Gareth Evans, former Defence Force chief Chris Barrie, and East and South East Asia politics expert Sow Keat Tok.

Joan of Arc historical fiction novelist Ali Alizadeh and Australian history writer Odette Kelada join Caroline Chisholm biographerSarah Goldman at Corrective Memory: Writing Women Back into History (Wednesday 28 March) to discuss reviving the stories of female historical figures.

Australian political biographer Jenny Hocking delivers this year’s Hazel Rowley Memorial Lecture at Politics of Biography(Tuesday 8 March) on the secret role of the Palace in the dismissal of the Whitlam government.

New York Times photography columnist Teju Cole (Monday 5 March) discusses how his travels in Switzerland, Lebanon, Nigeria, Jamaica and across America inspired both his prose and pictures.

London-based human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson delivers a talk about life, career, hypotheticals and humanity – all topics that are covered in his new book Rather His Own Man – at the Athenaeum Theatre (Tuesday 13 March).

Former Australian senator Jacqui Lambie (Tuesday 6 March) talks about the role of outsiders in politics in a discussion with Sally Warhaft at the season launch of our regular Fifth Estate series.


Event starts
Monday 26 February, 2018
Event Ends
Tuesday 24 April, 2018
The Wheeler Centre
Venue Address
176 Little Lonsdale St

Victoria, Melbourne

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