Heatwaves are an increasing threat to organisms across the globe. Marine and atmospheric heatwaves are predicted to impact sessile intertidal marine organisms, especially when exposed at low tide and unable to seek refuge. The study aimed to determine whether a simulated atmospheric heatwave will alter the survival of selectively bred families of Sydney rock oysters (Saccostrea glomerata), and whether survival is dependent on morphological and physiological traits. The survival of S. glomerata families to a simulated atmospheric heatwave varied from 25 to 60% and was not correlated with morphology or physiology. Survival may depend on the presence of genotypes that translate into molecular defenses such as heat-shock proteins and inhibitor of apoptosis proteins that provide oysters with resilience. Understanding the responses among families of oysters to heatwaves is critical if we are to restore the ecological services of oyster reefs and sustain oyster aquaculture.