Exit Interview: Michael Williams, Wheeler Centre Director

With his departure from the Wheeler Centre, Michael Williams leaves the organisation that he helped establish and has led for almost ten years. Where does he see the institution going next?

There was a strange moment at the Wheeler Centre Gala 2020, the last event Michael Williams hosted for the organisation as director. After a night of authors reflecting on the theme of hindsight, in honour of the organisation’s 10th anniversary and which included Uncle Jack Charles, Alice Pung and Eddie Ayres, Williams called all of his staff onto stage to join him for a congratulatory round of applause. His team and the audience all looked to Williams for one last word to wrap up the event, one staff member nodding towards the microphone and encouraging one last quip. But Williams demurred and quietly led his staff off stage.

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George Dunford is Director of Content at ArtsHub and Screenhub. He has written for Meanjin, The Big Issue, Lonely Planet, The Good Food Guide and others. He has worked in digital leadership roles in the cultural sector for more than 10 years including at the National Library of Australia, National Museum of Australia and the Wheeler Centre. You can follow him on Twitter: @Hack_packer