Stephanie Alexander is the author of one of Australia’s favourite cookbooks, The Cook’s Companion, which takes pride of place in half-a-million kitchens across the globe. 

She is also behind the legendary restaurant Stephanie’s, opened during a revolution in Melbourne’s restaurant scene, where for 21 years her quintessential cooking truly came alive.

The Library holds a wealth of archival material that captures the essence of her influential restaurant and the experience of dining there, including handwritten menus, photographs and other fascinating memorabilia.

With Melbourne Food and Wine Festival on now until 9 April, it’s a great time to explore Stephanie Alexander’s legacy of shaping Australian cooking. 

Garden plan for Mrs Theo Beggs, Eurambeen, Beaufort, Victoria, 1937

The wild-at-heart gardens of Edna Walling

Edna Walling was a trailblazing 20th-century Australian garden designer whose regular column in The Australian home beautiful chronicled the unique delights of gardening in Australia.

Walling made the backyard her canvas, designing gardens that were living, breathing works of art. Her designs brought beauty and tranquillity to all kinds of spaces – from suburban properties to stately manors.

She embraced wild plants and Australian natives, moving away from the typical European options, and ultimately changing the way we think about our backyards.

Grow young minds with Teen Writing Bootcamps
Text reads: 'Alicia Sometimes, Science Writing'. Image shows Alicia Sometimes headshot

Have you got a budding teen writer in your midst?

We’re about to kick off two new Teen Writing Bootcamps led by terrific authors. Next up is Science Writing with Alicia Sometimes, where teens can learn to charge their works with scientific thinking. Then we’ll dive into the art of Screenwriting with Nova Weetman.

Both Bootcamps are offered online for free over four jam-packed sessions. Register now so you don’t miss week one! 

TWBC: Science Writing
26 April, 3, 10, 17 May

TWBC: Screenwriting
28 April, 5, 12, 19 May


This program has been made possible through the generosity of Serp Hills Foundation and The JTM Foundation.

What’s on

A woman with pink hair, wearing a yellow dress, is seated, smiling, holding a picture book up.


Every Monday

Share the delight of stories, songs, and picture books with your pre-schooler!

Book now

Text reads: 'Inventors & Innovators: fresh ideas, Thursday 14 April 5.30pm- 7.00pm, StartSpace'. Images: (Top) David Hartley and Michael McSweeny, two of the Co-Founders of SoundSmith. (Bottom): Audrey Palupi and Jeremiah D'Souza are the Founders of The Custom Sneaker Co.

Inventors & innovators: fresh ideas

Thursday 14 April

Hear from founders shaking up the start-up ecosystem.

Book now

Text that reads: 'Spark Biotechnology'

Spark: biotechnology

Wednesday 27 April

Science and tech storytellers Future Crunch, host Stéphanie Kabanyana Kanyandekwe and some of Victoria’s brightest minds, discuss the future of biotech in medicine.

Book now

Plan ahead before you visit

The Library is open daily from 10am to 6pm. Be sure to check in, and be kind to our staff. Visit our website for more information on how to make the most of your visit.

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