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What's on in Melbourne
VALA celebrates its first Biennial Conference in the new Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre with a social programme that celebrates Melbourne's culture and history. Discover a hidden side of Melbourne behind the impressive historic 19th century facades in Collins Street and the city's fascinating lanes, alleyways and arcades. Experience a Broadway hit musical in the historic Princess Theatre, dine in the glamorous and elegant surroundings of the Plaza Ballroom, and dive into the book culture of Australia's UNESCO City of Literature. See the following social programme for details.
SUNDAY 7 FEBRUARY 2010
Arcades and Alleyways of Marvellous Melbourne
This meandering walk explores Marvellous Melbourne's famous grid pattern of tree-lined streets with its eclectic blend of memorable architecture dating from the 19th century to the present day. Kenneth Pak will introduce the rich heritage of Melbourne as he takes you on a fascinating journey that winds its way through some of the city's grandest arcades boasting lavish decorative schemes and a wonderful mix of shops. Also by way of dramatic contrast he will reveal another side of the city hidden behind the elegant streetscape - Melbourne's labyrinth of back alleys and laneways that continue to perform a vital role in the functioning of the city to this day.
As you wander through the alleys you will discover some particularly fine, and sometimes well hidden architectural gems from 19th century Melbourne that today is the location of sought after inner city apartments and quirky boutiques and cafes not to mention a ready-made 'canvas' for graffiti artists.
MONDAY 8 FEBRUARY 2010
Marvellous Melbourne Walking Tour - Collins Street
Collins Street provides a perfect introduction to Marvellous Melbourne. This magnificent tree-lined street offers a stunning selection of truly grand and noteworthy public and private buildings from the colonial era to present day. Kenneth's walk along the full length of beautiful Collins Street will address the street's impressive architectural landscape as well as offering many insights into the rich social history of Marvellous Melbourne.
TUESDAY 9 FEBRUARY 2010
WEDNESDAY 10 FEBRUARY 2010
Following the outstanding success of the last VALA Conference Dinner, the dinner will return to the historic Plaza Ballroom at the Regent Theatre. Located in the heart of Melbourne, on Collins Street, the heritage-listed ballroom is an imaginative combination of Spanish Baroque and Medieval styles. This spectacular and extravagant interior space evokes the romanticism and glamour of night-life during the 1920s and 30s. VALA's most prestigious information technology award, the Robert D Williamson Award 2010 will be presented at the VALA2010 Conference Dinner. Tickets may be purchased via the Registration and Information Desk until 1200 on Wednesday 10 February.
Travel to Dinner Venue
Conference Dinner guests are required to make their own way to the Plaza Ballroom. Tram 109 departs from the Clarendon Street entrance to the Melbourne Exhibition Centre, before turning right into Collins Street. Best times to catch the tram for the Dinner: 1836 or 1848. Guests should disembark the tram at the corner of Swanston and Collins Street. The Plaza Ballroom is on the right-hand side of Collins Street as you walk uphill.
THURSDAY 11 FEBRUARY 2010
FRIDAY 12 FEBRUARY 2010
The Wheeler Centre for books, writing, and ideas private tour
Take a private behind the scene tour of the new Wheeler Centre for books, writing, and ideas on the day it will be officially launched by the Premier. The Wheeler Centre is the centrepiece of Melbourne's UNESCO City of Literature initiative. Located at the State Library of Victoria, the Wheeler Centre is a centre dedicated to the discussion and practice of writing and ideas. For more details go to http://wheelercentre.com
As numbers for the private tour are strictly limited VALA will be distributing the tickets by a daily ballot being held each lunch time on the Red Carpet Area in the VALA Trade and Exhibition Area.
SATURDAY 13 FEBRUARY 2010
Gala night of Storytelling
On the anniversary of the Federal Government's apology to the Stolen Generations, the Centre presents a night of celebration and reflection, sharing the common and different experiences that define our past and our present. Twelve of Australia's best writers come together for an intimate night of storytelling, each reflecting on those tales that have been handed down to them through the generations, each giving voice to an inheritance of wisdom, of understanding, of identity. With contributions from Chloe Hooper, Paul Kelly, Cate Kennedy, Judith Lucy, Shane Maloney, David Malouf, John Marsden, Alex Miller, John Safran, Christos Tsiolkas, Tara June Winch and Alexis Wright this will be a literary event like no other. Join us as we reflect on the stories that make us who we are and mark the arrival of Melbourne's newest talking point. CLICK HERE for details.