Vernon Wheatley (47-51)


Born in 1934, Vernon Charles Wheatley attended Wesley College from 1947 to 1951 as a boarding student in Mofflin House. Vern was awarded colours for Wesley’s 1st XVIII Football Team, 1st XV Rugby Team and Tennis Team. He also represented Mofflin House in tennis, football, swimming, athletics and rugby.

Vern completed a Commerce degree at Perth Technical College (now Curtin University) and in 1956, was admitted as a provisional associate of the Australian Society of Accountants and the Chartered Institute of Secretaries. Whilst studying he began building his business career and working at both Attwood Motors and City Motors during this time.

In December 1956, Vern was appointed Company Secretary of City Motors Holdings Ltd, the company that was founded by his father, Sydney Wheatley. This was the start of an incredible business career for Vern.

On 7 December 1957, Vern married the love of his life Jo, the most important partnership in his life. With the addition of their 4 children, their family was complete.

In 1968 he became the Executive Chairman of Automotive Holdings Group (AHG), a position he held until 2004 when he retired.

With Vern as the driving force, AHG became Australia’s largest motor vehicle retailer and most significant automotive business, with operations nationwide and in New Zealand.

Vern is a life member of the Motor Trade Association of Western Australia and a foundation member of the WA Motor Industry Foundation.

In 2016, Vern was awarded Medal of the Order of Australia for his significant contribution to the automotive industry.

Vern served as President of local Apex and Rotary clubs in the Perth region. Over the many years, Vern and Jo have supported a broad range of community organisations and are considered one of Perth’s most, albeit quiet, philanthropic families.

Wesley College has been fortunate enough to have benefited from the Wheatley family’s generosity. Their support has provided opportunities and changed the lives
of many generations of Wesley students.