Bernard Wheelahan was inaugural Chairman of the Council on Australia Latin American Relations (COALAR) from 2001 to 2010. The Council was established in 2001 by the Australian Government to enhance political, social and economic relationships between Australia and the whole of Latin America. Bernard is an independent company director. He spent his executive career with the Royal Dutch Shell Group, and worked as President of Shell Venezuela from 1996-1999. He is Chairman of Pacific Hydro Pty Limited which has renewable energy projects in Chile and Brazil and was previously Director of Normandy Mining Limited which has had gold mining and exploration interests in Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Peru. His business interests include corporate governance, sustainable development, resources exploration and the systematic management of health safety and environment.
Bernard holds a science degree and a diploma of education. He is a fellow of The Royal Australian Chemical Institute, The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, The Australian Institute of Company Directors, and The Australian Institute of Energy. He is a Life Member of the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association.