Our journey from 1923 to 2023.

1923 - 1932

College Buildings

Sporting teams

13 February 1923

The College opens

On 13 February 1923, the College, then Wesley Boys’ College, opens its doors. The original building, now known as the J.F. Ward Building, was not quite finished, with boarders arriving to realise they must put together their beds. Classes for the 38 foundation students commenced, many of them boarders and sons of settlers from the agricultural districts East of Perth.

College collage

The founding Houses

Student numbers

Wesley  Boys’ Schools opened its doors on 13 February 1923, commencing with 38 inaugural scholars, 18 boarders and 20 day students.

By 1926, that number had jumped to 60 day students and 42 boarders

Headmaster, Mr JF Ward (1923-1929)

1933 - 1942

Wesley College Dramatic Society


Co-curricular activities

College War Cry, Ika Baka

Leader: Zeemalah!

School: Haaa!

Ika baka, ika baka, wogga daka da

Wesley, Wesley, rah, rah, rah!

Ricka dakka, ricka dakka, ricka dakka dow;

Wesley, Wesley, all together now



College collage


Wesley College Staff


Student numbers

1935 saw a significant upswing in enrolments, to 140, “the largest new enrolments in our history” with 66 new students, Headmaster Rossiter proudly reported.

Headmaster, Dr JL Rossiter (1930 - 1952)

1943 - 1952

1943 - 1952


Farewell to Dr Rossiter


Speech Night

Speech Night on 10 December 1952 was the scene of Wesley’s goodbye to it’s Headmaster of 22 years, Dr James Leonard Rossiter.

Dr Rossiter led a period of great growth and progression, culminating in admittance into the PSA in 1952, a feat he had worked tirelessly towards.

The 1946 College Captain, Peter Turpin, recalled more than half a century later that “Dr Rossiter was my image of all that was good in a man and a teachre and a father… Young men left school and died for their country and their beliefs. Dr Rossiter gave them most of their beliefs.”

Waiting for the ferry, 1940s.

Membership in the Public Schools' Association.

Sporting Teams

Wesley's flock of sheep

In the late 1940s, Dr Rossiter hired retired Scottish policeman, JG Fraser, to fulfil a motley range of responsibilities, including curating the College grounds and teaching PE.

In the early 1950s, he managed Rossiter Oval with the help of a flock of up to 20 sheep, which grazed and fertilised simultaneously.

College Collage

1953 - 1962

College Collage


Headmaster, Mr NR Collins (1953-1962)


Student numbers

Mr Collins inherited the College with enrolments totalling 450 students (130 boarders) and the command of 20 Teaching Staff.

Interestingly, Collins wished for the College to remain at this number, despite the demand for school places, as it permitted him to recognise each boy by name.

Sporting Teams


PSA Athletics


Academic achivement

A high level of academic achievement in the public examinations arena was seen in the early 1960s, with 49 students obtaining their Leaving certificates in 1961, and four earning university exhibitions.

Upon his leaving in 1964, Collins left behind a school whose academic standing was very high. Vice-Captain from 1963, Graham Hardie, remembers him demanding “the highest level of achievement from students.” It is said that no-one in Wesley’s first forty years contributed more to the making of Wesley’s academic reputation than him.


Old Wesley Collegians' Memorial Chapel

1963 - 1972

Buildings and restorations

College collage


Continued academic excellence

The public examination results for 1972 were outstanding, with a record five university exhibitions (a quarter of the State’s total). An average of 2.5 exhibitions would be won each year during Hamer’s headmastership.

Mildred Manning


Boarding House development


Cygnet House and Tranby House

Alongside major building developments, two named boarding houses for intra-boarding competitions were developed, Cygnet House and Tranby House. These would later go on to become the names of the two new buildings in 1968.


Headmaster, Mr CA Hamer (1965 - 1983)

1973 - 1982


Joseph Green Centre


Prep School Hockey Team


Jubilee Dinner

Wesley marked its Jubilee anniversary with a dinner under a marquee in Jenkins Quadrangle.

Amongst the dignitaries was Reverend Joseph Green, who would have been quite possibly the only person present able to recall the laying of the Foundation Stone of the College on 11 November 1922.

Prep School

College collage


Student numbers

In the late 1970s, the College Council began to make plans for the future, with the College aiming to host 750 Senior School students and 250 Prepatory School students


Co-curricular subjects

1983 - 1992


Blanckensee Centre

College Collage

Sporting success

Wesley continued its era of sporting success under Kefford. Our 1st V Basketball Team won the inaugural Blackwood Trophy in 1980, defending the title again in 1982, 1985 and 1990.

Similarly, the 1st XI Cricket Team became Darlot Cup winners in 1983, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1993 and 1994.

The 1st XVIII Football Team won the Alcock Cup in 1982 and 1991, and the 1st XI Hockey Team were victorious in 1984 and 1985 for the Ray House Cup. Our Rugby Team were successful in 1987 and 1988, and Soccer in 1990 and 1991.

Horticulture, Computer Studies and more!


Farewell to Mr Clive Hamer


The political, social and economic climate of WA experienced a momentous change in the 1980s. The impact on Wesley College, though subtle, was seen within the innovations in teaching and curriculum, with classes in Computing, Farm Management, Horticulture and Outdoor Education offered.


Headmaster, Dr RE Kefford (1984 - 1996)

1993 - 2002


Middle School opening


Winning 1st VIII Rowing Team


Student numbers

In 1994, Wesley College accepted its largest intake of students at the time, 286, to bring the total number of students to 1,289.

College collage


Yearbook photos

1996 - 2002

Headmaster J Bednall

John Bednall commenced his Headmastership in Term Four of 1996.


Green and Black Ball

2003 - 2012


Our Core Values


Moorditj Mob

Sub schools

During this period, the College was split up into three sub-schools:

  • Junior School (Pre-kindergarten to Year 4)
  • Middle School (Year 5 to Year 8)
  • Senior School (Year 9 to Year 12)

College collage



Our athletic development program

Wesley is the only WA school with a Long-term Athletic Development program (LTAD) which runs from Pre-kindergarten to Year 12. Driven by a ‘Sport for Life’ culture, the program puts a focus on a focus on foundations, participation, motor skills and core strength, while elite athletes are given access to individual mentors.

Headmaster, Mr D Gee (2003 - 2018)

2013 - 2022

Our service for others


Reconciliation Action Plan

Our motto

By daring & by doing.

Our motto, By daring & by doing, (Audendo Atque Agendo), represents the Wesley ethos. Whether it’s academic achievement, sporting achievement or public service, our students dare to think on a grand scale and believe in action.

More than a motto, ‘By daring & by doing ‘ is our vision for inspiring students to be bold, seek personal excellence and serve others.

College collage

Our strong academic focus

Era of innovation

The College has been repeatedly recognised as one of Australia’s most innovative schools, thanks to our approach of pushing the boundaries of traditional education to better equip students for tomorrow’s world.

In 2018, 2020 and 2022, Wesley College was recognised as an Innovative School by The Educator, the leading Australian resource for senior educational professionals. The Innovative School status reflects our commitment to cutting-edge facilities and ideas.

2019 - present

Head of College, Mr RB Barron

2023 and beyond

100 Acts of Service

Tales of daring and doing


Our centenary

Celebrating 100 years of daring and doing.

2023 collage

Thanksgiving Chapel Service

The Wesleyan, Centenary edition

CLICK HERE to read the latest edition of The Wesleyan.

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