Wesley College
Wesley College, Perth Logo.svg
Wesley College, South Perth, February 2021 02.jpg
Wesley College seen from the south-west in 2021
Coordinates31°58′43″S 115°51′55″E / 31.97861°S 115.86528°E / -31.97861; 115.86528Coordinates: 31°58′43″S 115°51′55″E / 31.97861°S 115.86528°E / -31.97861; 115.86528
TypeIndependent, day & boarding
MottoAudendo Atque Agendo
(Latin for "By Daring & By Doing")[1]
DenominationUniting Church
Sister schoolPenrhos College, Perth
ChairMatt Braysher
Head teacherRoss Barron
Enrolment1,300 (PK-12)[3]
Colour(s)Black, green, gold    
AffiliationPublic Schools Association
Official nameWesley College, Chapel & Memorial Rose Garden
TypeState Registered Place
Designated25 August 2009
Reference no.2379

Wesley College, informally known as Wesley, is an independent, day and boarding school for boys and girls (co-ed to Year 6 and boys only Years 7–12), situated in South Perth, a suburb of Perth, Western Australia.

The college is a Uniting Church school, which traces its origins back to 1923 when it was established by members of the Methodist Church which was founded by John Wesley.

Since its foundation, the college has been located on a 19 hectare riverside property, near the banks of the Swan River. The campus consists of a Junior School (Manning House) for Pre-kindergarten to Year 4, a Middle School (Years 5 to 8) and a Senior School (Years 9 to 12), performing arts, sporting grounds and boarding facilities for 150 students.

Wesley College is affiliated with the Junior School Heads Association of Australia (JSHAA),[5] the Australian Boarding Schools' Association (ABSA),[6] the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA),[7] the Association of Independent Schools of Western Australia (AISWA),[2] and has been a member of the Public Schools Association (PSA) since 1952.[3]

Wesley's sister school is Penrhos College, Perth located in Como.


This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (July 2009) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

The foundation stone was laid by the Premier of Western Australia, Sir James Mitchell on 11 November 1922. This stone is still visible at the south-west corner of the original building, now known as the J. F. Ward Wing in honour of the school's first headmaster.

The college began operation in 2 July the following year, with an initial enrolment of 39 boys, and grew steadily in size. This evolution can be traced through the campus architecture which was first extended in 1925 with the construction of a general classroom block, now the RE Kefford Wing. A second storey was added to the original building in 1926, along with various verandahs and a weatherboard library, which have since been demolished.

In 1930, J. F. Ward was succeeded as Headmaster by J. L. Rossiter. A number of new buildings were constructed in the 1930s, including the Headmaster's Residence (now JS Maloney House), a dining hall, extra classrooms and a gymnasium (now the Hamer Wing). The college joined the Public Schools' Association in 1952.

Rossiter was succeeded as Headmaster in 1954 by Norman Roy Collins. During Collins' 11 years' tenure, construction of the Lych Gate, Memorial Chapel (1960–61), the boat shed, the science block (1956, 1959), additional classrooms (1955, 1963) and the swimming pool (1963) were completed.

Wesley College in 1926
Wesley College in 1926

A new Headmaster, Clive Hamer, was appointed in 1965 and served Wesley until 1983. During this period, Wesley took a lead role in the introduction of the Achievement Certificate in Western Australia (1969–71) and built the boarding houses of Cygnet and Tranby (1968–70), the HR Trenaman Library (1971), classrooms and balconies around the Jenkins Quadrangle (1972), the Collins Oval (1970) and the Joseph Green Centre (1973–78).

In 1977, Wesley came under the auspices of the Uniting Church which resulted from a joining of the Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregational Churches. The first female students were enrolled in 1978 with the opening of a new Junior School on land acquired north of Swan Street.

Headmaster's Residence in 1950
Headmaster's Residence in 1950

Roderic Kefford served as the fifth Headmaster from 1984 to 1996 and continued the extensive curriculum changes associated with a broadening of upper secondary programs beyond university entry and the establishment of Wesley's lower secondary structure. The RE Blanckensee Physical Education Centre was opened in 1987 and the original gymnasium was renovated to become the Hamer Wing classrooms. The Preparatory School was also extended towards Mill Point Road in 1994.

A site development plan was initiated by John Bednall who was Headmaster from October 1996 to July 2002. This resulted in the refurbishment of the Kefford Wing, the Ward Wing and the Science block, the opening of the Junior School (Manning House) (1999) and Middle School (2000).

In August 2003, David Gee was appointed Wesley's seventh Headmaster. In 2005, the Design, Technology and Visual Arts Centre was opened at a cost of A$4.5 million. In 2006, the Boarding House was refurbished at a cost of $2 million with bigger rooms and a new security link building.

In 2007, construction commenced on the school's biggest project – the A$13 million refurbishment of the Joseph Green Centre. It was officially opened on 9 May 2008 during the school's 85th anniversary year.

David Gee left the school at the completion of the 2018 school year and was replaced in 2019 by Ross Barron, who was previously the Head of Senior School at Hale.[8]

Bednall controversy

During 2002 it was alleged that John Bednall, the headmaster at the time, had accessed child pornography on the internet. Bednall resigned immediately and a single charge was laid against him which was discontinued in the WA magistrates Court because of a lack of evidence.[9] Bednall subsequently sued Wesley for wrongful termination. He later accepted a settlement offer from Wesley College Council, which included a statement recognising that Bednall had acted with the best interests of Wesley students in mind.[10]


Aerial view of Wesley College campus and Swan River
Aerial view of Wesley College campus and Swan River

The school is based primarily on its nineteen hectare campus on Coode Street in South Perth which comprises each of the Junior, Middle and Senior Schools. The school also has playing grounds in Como, Collins Oval. Football, soccer and rugby are the main sports that are played on these grounds.

Building developments

The first stage of the school's current masterplan saw the $13 million refurbishment of the Joseph Green Centre as a performing arts and function facility, completed in May 2008. The second stage saw the refurbishment of the Ward and Kefford Wings of the Senior School ($2m) and the Old Boys' Memorial Chapel ($1.5 million). Since 2009 the school has seen the opening of the T.G O'Sullivan Pavilion and a new Languages Centre, as well as a refurbishment of the Hamer Wing and the Mildred Manning Science Centre.

Wesley College uniform
Wesley College uniform

Student life

The Old Wesley Collegians Association offers a scholarship to a year 11 student, who has a father or grandfather who attended the college, based on sporting, academic and citizenship, both within Wesley and the wider community. The college offers three scholarships a year to indigenous students from rural and regional areas of Western Australia.


The Wesley war cry is used for victories in sporting and other school events. The traditional Wesley send-off is used to "send off" students involved in major sporting events, and entails the introduction of participants accompanied by students stomping their feet on the wooden floor of the Joseph Green Centre. As of 2010, this has been informally named the "Woodsey Stomp" in recognition of long serving staff member, Frank Woods, who often received this applause every time he was to take the microphone at assembly. When a well-respected or prominent Wesley teacher retires from the School, a guard of honour is made on the Jenkins Quad.

House system

Wesley College has eight houses in the senior school, Mofflin, Cygnet, Hardey, Tranby, Grove, Walton, Dickson, Jenkins and six in the junior school, Hardey, Mofflin, Grove, Walton, Dickson, Jenkins. Each house is named in honour of an individual who has had an association with the school, including A. H. Dickinson, one of the founders of the school and Joseph Hardey, one of the first Methodists to settle in Western Australia. The eight senior school houses compete for the Klem Cup, named in honour of the first student enrolled at the college, while the middle school houses have events every year as they play for the Kay Cup.


Wesley has been a member of the Public Schools Association (PSA) since 1952, within which it competes in inter-school sports. Wesley sport is split up into two seasons, a winter and summer season. For summer they have tennis, cricket, water polo, swimming, basketball and rowing. For winter they have soccer, badminton, rugby, Australian rules football and hockey. In 2011 the Wesley College 1st XVIII football team historically won The Alcock Cup breaking a 17-year drought.

PSA premierships

Wesley has won the following PSA premierships.[11]


Wesley has had a strong drama program running for many years. One major production is produced by the Drama department each year. This usually takes place in the second term.

Productions of Oliver, The King and I, Jesus Christ Superstar have been staged, plus the following in more recent years:


Katitjin is a program partaken by all year 8 students. For the students it is a chance to get out of the classroom and learn within the community. The program is based out of the West Australian Rowing Club on the banks of the Swan River. The program runs for a full term.

The name Katitjin is taken from the Nyoongar word meaning "to listen and to learn".

Wesley Sports Club

Wesley's sporting facilities on the South Perth Campus can be used by members of the Wesley Sports Club and the general public. Formed for members of the local South Perth Community, and the college's students, the club operates the Sports Club including swimming classes, weights training, yoga and other programs.

Australian HPV Super Series (Pedal Prix)

The school has a major involvement in the Australian International HPV Super Series, with the program currently being run by Kyal Rees. The team had been competing in the Busselton round each year since 2014. The 2018 race was their best one ever. The team represented by Finnian Emmett, Tyler Clement, Noah Tarrant, Alexander McAskil and Wallace Cheung had ridden 209 laps[12] (177.65 km) in the 6 hours race and came first in the Senior School Division and also became the WA Champion School. The team had beat Hale School Dell Orean team by 16 laps.[12]

Notable alumni

The school has produced four Rhodes scholars: R. Rossiter (1935), G. G. Rossiter (1946), M. V. Crockett (1994) and Dustin Stuart (2010).[13]


Several alumni of the school have become professional sportsmen. The R.E. Blanckensee Physical Education Centre contains a Hall of Fame showcasing over 160 of Wesley's finest sporting old boys. These include:


Academic leaders


See also


  1. ^ "Vision and Values". About Wesley. Wesley College. Retrieved 27 December 2007.
  2. ^ a b "Wesley College". Search for School. Association of Independent Schools of Western Australia. Retrieved 27 December 2007.
  3. ^ a b "Introduction". About Wesley. Wesley College. Archived from the original on 23 December 2007. Retrieved 26 December 2007.
  4. ^ "Employment Opportunities". About Wesley. Wesley College. Archived from the original on 24 December 2007. Retrieved 27 December 2007.
  5. ^ "JSHAA Western Australia Directory of Members". Western Australia Branch. Junior School Heads' Association of Australia. 2007. Retrieved 27 December 2007.
  6. ^ "Wesley College". Schools. Australian Boarding Schools' Association. 2007. Archived from the original on 17 November 2007. Retrieved 27 December 2007.
  7. ^ "AHISA Schools". Western Australia. Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia. November 2007. Archived from the original on 2 November 2007. Retrieved 27 December 2007.
  8. ^ "Wesley College names new principal for 2019". Community News Group. 18 April 2018. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  9. ^ The Age, Friday April 2,2004
  10. ^ Supreme Court of Western Australia - Judgement 24 May 2005
  11. ^ "Records – Public Schools Association". Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  12. ^ a b "Race Results for City of Busselton 6 Hour after 6:06:47 (h:m:s)".
  13. ^ "Western Australian Rhodes Scholars". Retrieved 11 May 2014.