Introducing Australia Day Ambassador Paul Wheelton

Published on 10 January 2019


Successful businessman, philanthropist and Order of Australia medal recipient Paul Wheelton has been announced as Baw Baw Shire’s Australia Day Ambassador for 2019.

The Australia Day Ambassador Program is one of the longest running and most successful national Australia Day programs which sends high achieving Australians to over 300 community celebrations nationwide every Australia Day. It is a grassroots initiative that builds on the strength and excitement of Australia Day activities in local communities.

Mr Wheelton will participate in the Baw Baw Shire Australia Day Awards Ceremony which honours local community members who have made a significant contribution to the community. The awards ceremony will be held from 6.00pm on Tuesday 22 January at the West Gippsland Arts Centre Fountain Room ahead of Australia Day on 26 January.

Community members are welcome to attend the awards ceremony. Seating is limited and must be booked in advance by calling 5624 2411.

For more details about local Australia Day events, please go to

About Paul Wheelton AM KSJ

For the last 31 years, Paul has been Managing Director and Owner of one of the largest Budget Rent a Car Franchise Group in Australia. 15 years ago, with the knowledge that he had built a strong and loyal management team, he moved into the charitable field and now spends the majority of his time working in the not-for-profit sector.

In 2009, Paul was awarded the Order of Australia medal (AM) for his services to a range of children’s charities. He was further admitted as a Member of the Order in 2017 for his philanthropic work. Paul was inducted as a Knight of St John of Jerusalem (KSJ) in June 2017 in recognition of his philanthropic work with the Northern Hospital and Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Paul is a Board Member of Life Education Australia Foundation, Blue Ribbon Day Community Board, Order of Australia Association National Board and Deputy Chair. He is a founding Board Member and Chairman of the Bali Children Foundation which has helped to rebuild several children’s homes (orphanages) and provides an educational pathway for over 3000 disadvantaged Balinese children.

Paul is also a member of the Ministerial Advisory Council for Volunteers, Capital Campaign Chairman for Guide Dogs Victoria, and Patron of several Victorian charities including Neighbourhood Watch and the Les Twentyman Foundation.

Paul is passionate about correcting the gender imbalance that exists in many of his areas of work. His participation in ‘Gender Wise Philanthropy’ and as Australia’s only male member of the New York-based Women Moving Millions Organisation, now means that this work has become a core part of the broader Wheelton Philanthropy organisation.

Quotes attributable to Mayor Cr Mikaela Power

“We’re thrilled that Paul Wheelton AM KSJ will be joining us for our Australia Day Awards Ceremony in January 2019. Having an Ambassador adds another layer of depth, enthusiasm and inspiration to what is already such a meaningful awards ceremony. We look forward to hearing from Paul about his passions, experiences and pride in being an Australian.”

Quotes attributable to Australia Day Ambassador Paul Wheelton AM KSJ

“It is a great honour to be selected as Baw Baw Shire’s Australia Day Ambassador for 2019. Australia Day is a day to reflect on our national journey and acknowledge the local people that go above and beyond for their community. I look forward to sharing in the Australia Day Award Ceremony and learning more about the wonderful people who contribute so much to Baw Baw Shire.”