Wheeler Centre Board Welcomes New Chair

20 October 2022

Kate Torney OAM is set to continue her literary and creative leadership in her appointment as Chair of The Wheeler Centre.

Minister for Creative Industries Steve Dimopoulos today announced Ms Torney’s appointment following her extensive career across the media, creative and philanthropic sectors.

Commencing her career as a journalist, Ms Torney spent 25 years working in the media, including as News Director at the ABC, before she took on the role of CEO of State Library Victoria in 2015.

During her time at the helm, Ms Torney oversaw the Library’s once in a generation $88 million transformation which included raising $30 million in support from the philanthropic sector.

In 2020 Ms Torney was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her service to the broadcast, media and cultural sectors.

Since October 2021, Ms Torney has been CEO of the Peter MacCallum Cancer Foundation, the philanthropic body that raises funds to support the vital research and work of Melbourne’s Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.

Ms Torney takes on the board leadership from Julie Ligeti who has been Chair since March 2022. Ms Ligeti oversaw The Wheeler Centre’s reopening and return to in-person events following the disruption of the pandemic. Ms Ligeti will step down from the Chair role due to other professional committments but remains on the board.

The Wheeler Centre was the cornerstone of Victoria’s successful bid to be designated a UNESCO City of Literature and since its opening in 2010, has cemented its place at the heart of Victoria’s cultural life with its program of talks, forums and events.

The centre is also a hub and home for writers and key literary organisations including the Melbourne Writers Festival, Writers Victoria, Express Media, Emerging Writers’ Festival, Australian Poetry and Small Press Network.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Creative Industries Steve Dimopoulos

“From the media to literature and philanthropy Kate Torney has been championing books, writing, conversations, ideas and debate throughout her career.”

“I look forward to Kate bringing her creative and strategic approach to this role as we continue to make Victoria a place that celebrates writers and recognises the role literature plays in all of our lives.”

Quotes attributable to Kate Torney OAM

It is an honour to take up this position at such an exciting time for The Wheeler Centre as it continues to inspire curiosity and connection, and to support, nurture and challenge writers, readers and thinkers.

I look forward to working with a great board and a talented team to further build on the Wheeler Centre’s strong reputation as a unique, trusted, independent hub for ideas, story-telling and conversation.

Media contact: Corey Croft 0468 897 764 |

Reviewed 21 October 2022

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