David Brand

Last updated

Hon. Sir

David Brand

19th Premier of Western Australia
Elections: 1959, 1962, 1965, 1968, 1971
In office
2 April 1959 3 March 1971
Preceded by Albert Hawke
Succeeded by John Tonkin
Constituency Greenough
Personal details
Born(1912-08-01)1 August 1912
Dongara, Western Australia, Australia
Died15 April 1979(1979-04-15) (aged 66)
Carnamah, Western Australia, Australia
Political party Liberal
Spouse(s)Doris Elspeth McNeill

Sir David Brand KCMG (1 August 1912 – 15 April 1979) was an Australian politician. A member of the Liberal Party, he was a Member of the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia from 1945 to 1975, and also the 19th and longest-serving Premier of Western Australia, serving four terms from the 1959 to the 1971 elections. He resigned as leader of the Liberal Party in 1973, and retired from politics in 1975, dying from heart disease in 1979.

Order of St Michael and St George series of appointments of an order of chivalry of the United Kingdom

The Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George is a British order of chivalry founded on 28 April 1818 by George, Prince Regent, later King George IV, while he was acting as regent for his father, King George III.

The Liberal Party of Australia is the division of the Liberal Party of Australia in Western Australia. Formed in 1945, the party has held power for five separate periods in coalition with the National Party. The party has been in opposition in the state since the 2017 election.

Following are lists of members of the Western Australian Legislative Assembly:


Early life

Brand was born in Dongara, Western Australia, the eldest of four children of Albert John Brand, a farmer, and his wife Hilda, née Mitchell. His maternal grandfather was Samuel Mitchell, a Cornish immigrant who was a pioneer of the mining industry in Western Australia and served in both houses of state parliament. [1] Brand's parents farmed at Northampton and moved to a farm near Mullewa in 1924. He left school at 14 to work on the farm, and at Mullewa became secretary of the local branch of the Primary Producers' Association, a forerunner of the Farmers Federation.

Dongara, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Dongara is a town 351 kilometres (218 mi) north-northwest of Perth, Western Australia on the Brand Highway. The town is located at the mouth of the Irwin River. The area has been marketed as the 'Rock lobster capital of Australia'.

Western Australia state in Australia

Western Australia is a state occupying the entire western third of Australia. It is bounded by the Indian Ocean to the north and west, and the Southern Ocean to the south, the Northern Territory to the north-east, and South Australia to the south-east. Western Australia is Australia's largest state, with a total land area of 2,529,875 square kilometres, and the second-largest country subdivision in the world, surpassed only by Russia's Sakha Republic. The state has about 2.6 million inhabitants – around 11 percent of the national total – of whom the vast majority live in the south-west corner, 79 per cent of the population living in the Perth area, leaving the remainder of the state sparsely populated.

Northampton, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Northampton is a town 52 kilometres (32 mi) north of Geraldton, in the Mid West region of Western Australia. At the 2011 census, the town had a population of 868. The town contains a National Trust building. The town lies on the North West Coastal Highway. Originally called The Mines, Northampton was gazetted in 1864 and named after the colony's Governor, John Hampton. The town was sited in the Nokanena Brook valley, between the hamlets around the two major copper mines in the area, the Wanerenooka and the Gwalla.

In 1935, Brand moved to Kalgoorlie and worked at the Golden Horseshoe Mine, as a truck driver, treatment hand, filter specialist and shift boss. In his spare time, he was active in the Methodist Church and as a scoutmaster. Brand was of Cornish descent, like both his predecessor, Albert Hawke, and successor, John Tonkin, as premier. [2]

Kalgoorlie City in Western Australia

Kalgoorlie-Boulder, known colloquially as just Kalgoorlie, is a city in the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia, located 595 km (370 mi) east-northeast of Perth at the end of the Great Eastern Highway. The city was founded in 1889 by the amalgamation of the towns of Kalgoorlie and Boulder, which developed in 1893 during the Coolgardie gold rush, on Western Australia's "Golden Mile". It is also the ultimate destination of the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme and the Golden Pipeline Heritage Trail.

Albert Hawke Premier of Western Australia (1953-1959)

Albert Redvers George Hawke was the 18th Premier of Western Australia and the first one to be born in the 20th century. He served from 23 February 1953 to 2 April 1959, and represented the Labor Party. His nephew, Bob Hawke, became Prime Minister of Australia.

John Tonkin politician

John Trezise Tonkin AC, popularly known as "Honest John", was an Australian politician. A member of the Labor Party, he served as a Member of the Western Australian Legislative Assembly for a record 44 years from 1933 to 1977, and was the 20th Premier of Western Australia, serving from the 1971 election, where his party defeated the ruling Liberal–Country coalition led by David Brand, to the 1974 election, where the Labor Party was defeated by the Liberal–Country coalition led by Charles Court. A number of landmarks were later named or renamed after him, including the Tonkin Highway and John Tonkin College in Mandurah.

Military service

Tobruk, Libya, 22 January 1941. Brand is fifth right in the back row of this picture, as a member of C Company, 2/11th Infantry Battalion. Australian forces were in the process of capturing Tobruk from Italian forces, during Operation Compass. Awm 005392 2nd11th.jpg
Tobruk, Libya, 22 January 1941. Brand is fifth right in the back row of this picture, as a member of C Company, 2/11th Infantry Battalion. Australian forces were in the process of capturing Tobruk from Italian forces, during Operation Compass.

Following the outbreak of World War II, Brand enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on 23 November 1939. As a Private, he was assigned to the 2/11th Battalion, part of the 6th Division, which embarked for the Middle East on 20 April 1940. Brand fought in the North African campaign, including the advance on Benghazi, and was promoted to Corporal before the 2/11th was sent to the Greek campaign, in which he was seriously wounded on 24 April 1941.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Second Australian Imperial Force expeditionary force during World War II

The Second Australian Imperial Force was the name given to the volunteer personnel of the Australian Army in World War II. Under the Defence Act (1903), neither the part-time Militia nor the full-time Permanent Military Force (PMF) could serve outside Australia or its territories unless they volunteered to do so. The Second AIF fought against Nazi Germany, Italy, Vichy France and Japan. After the war, Australia's wartime military structures were demobilised and the 2nd AIF was disbanded, although a small cadre of its personnel became part of the Interim Army that was established in 1947, and from which the Australian Regular Army was formed in 1948.

A private is a soldier of the lowest military rank.

Brand was eventually sent back to Australia for further treatment, arriving in August, and was discharged as medically unfit in April 1942. He was re-mobilised in September, as an instructor with the 7th Battalion, Volunteer Defence Corps, in Geraldton and was promoted to Warrant Officer in January 1943. With the war effort beginning to wind down, Brand was discharged from the army in January 1945.

Volunteer Defence Corps (Australia)

The Volunteer Defence Corps (VDC) was an Australian part-time volunteer military force of World War II modelled on the British Home Guard. The VDC was established in July 1940 by the Returned and Services League of Australia (RSL) and was initially composed of ex-servicemen who had served in World War I. The government took over control of the VDC in May 1941, and gave the organisation the role of training for guerrilla warfare, collecting local intelligence and providing static defence of each unit's home area. General Harry Chauvel, who had retired in 1930, was recalled to duty in 1940 and appointed Inspector-General of the VDC. Chauvel held this position until his death in March 1945.

Geraldton City in Western Australia

Geraldton is a coastal city in the Mid West region of Western Australia, 424 kilometres (263 mi) north of Perth.

Civilian life and political career

Brand in 1959. Sir David Brand.jpg
Brand in 1959.

Brand married Doris Elspeth McNeill at Mingenew Methodist Church on 20 March 1944, with whom he later had three children. After his army discharge, Brand took over the general store at Dongara.

Mingenew, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Mingenew is a town in Western Australia, located 383 kilometres (238 mi) north of the state capital, Perth. It is the seat of government for the Shire of Mingenew.

The incumbent Labor member for the State seat of Greenough, John Newton, was killed in action with the RAAF in 1945. Brand won the seat for the Liberal Party in a by-election that year, defeating Newton's brother by a narrow margin. Brand was the first person in Australia to win election to an Australian parliament as a candidate of the newly formed Liberal Party.

In October 1949, Ross McLarty became Premier and Brand entered the Ministry as Minister for Housing, Forests and Local Government. From April 1950 he was Minister for Works, Water Supply and Housing, working to establish the Kwinana Oil Refinery. Brand would later describe this as one of his greatest achievements. He was also involved in the creation of other major industrial projects.

After the Coalition's defeat in 1953, Brand became deputy leader of the Opposition. After McLarty's retirement, Brand was elected party leader on 1 March 1957. The Coalition was returned to power in 1959, and Brand was sworn in as Premier on 2 April. His administration retained office at the elections of 1962, 1965, and 1968. This was achieved with the assistance of the West Australian branch of the Democratic Labor Party (DLP) which split the Labor vote in some metropolitan electorates. The DLP was active in Western Australia between 1959 and 1974.

In 1960, the Federal government lifted its embargo on iron exports, which had been in place since 1938, enabling exploitation of large iron deposits in the Pilbara. The mining of large bauxite deposits in the Darling Scarp also commenced, along with expansion of mineral processing at Kwinana and the South West. Federal finance for the Ord River Scheme was also secured by Brand's government. Substantial oil and gas deposits were discovered in the Pilbara. In 1968, Western Australia ceased to be a net recipient of federal financial assistance. Brand was knighted in June of the following year.

The mining-pastoral boom of the 1960s played a big part in ensuring for Brand's government four successive electoral victories over the ALP opposition (led by Hawke until 1967, and by Tonkin from 1967 to 1971). However, the rapid growth of the Perth metropolitan area, and the strain this put on essential services, eroded the government's popularity, especially after 1969. In addition, Brand's relations with the federal Liberal Party worsened after the retirement of Sir Robert Menzies in 1966. While Brand's administration suffered from a series of controversies relating to environmental, heritage, Aboriginal and housing issues, the impact of production quotas for wheat, imposed by Prime Minister Sir John Gorton led to open conflict with the federal Liberal Party.

In the midst of this conflict the Brand government's attempt to demolish the remains of the Colonial Barracks ("the Barracks Arch") immediately opposite the parliament building led to a parliamentary revolt within the Liberal Party. Brand prevented this by dropping the proposal, and agreeing to allow the National Trust to restore the Arch. However, the strains this had caused within the government became evident when Brand collapsed while speaking publicly in 1971. He recovered, but the Coalition lost the election to Labor by one seat, and Tonkin became Premier.

Brand led the Liberals in opposition until his resignation in 1973; Sir Charles Court succeeded him as the party's leader. He died of heart disease in Carnamah, Western Australia in 1979.

The federal electoral Division of Brand in Western Australia, created in 1984, is named after him, as is the Brand Highway and the Sir David Brand School in Coolbinia. [3] The Sir David Brand Award is the highest award of the West Australian Tourism Awards, in recognition of his work to advance the tourism industry. [4]

See also

David Brand statue at Shire of Irwin's chambers in Dongara. OIC dongara david brand statue in shire chambers.jpg
David Brand statue at Shire of Irwin's chambers in Dongara.

Related Research Articles

Division of Brand Australian federal electoral division

The Division of Brand is an Australian electoral division in the state of Western Australia. The division was named after Sir David Brand, the longest-serving Premier of Western Australia.

Charles Court premier of Western Australia 1974 to 1982

Sir Charles Walter Michael Court, was a Western Australian politician, and the 21st Premier of Western Australia from 1974 to 1982. He was a member of the Liberal Party.

Electoral district of Pilbara state electoral district of Western Australia

The Electoral district of Pilbara is a Legislative Assembly electorate in the state of Western Australia. Pilbara is named for the region of Western Australia in which it is located. It is one of the oldest electorates in Western Australia, with its first member having been elected to the Second Parliament of the Legislative Assembly at the 1894 elections.

Frank Wise Australian politician

Frank Joseph Scott Wise AO was a Labor Party politician who was the 16th Premier of Western Australia. He took office on 31 July 1945 in the closing stages of the Second World War, following the resignation of his predecessor due to ill health. He lost the following election two years later to the Liberal Party after Labor had held office for fourteen years previously.

Ross McLarty Australian politician; 17th Premier of Western Australia.

Sir Duncan Ross McLarty, was an Australian politician and the 17th Premier of Western Australia.

The Queensland Labor Party (QLP) was a political party of Queensland, Australia formed in 1957 by a breakaway group of the then ruling Labor Party Government after the expulsion of Premier Vince Gair. In 1962 the party became the Queensland section of the Democratic Labor Party (DLP). The party continued to hold seats in the Queensland state parliament until 1972, then suffered a collapse in its vote and wound itself up in 1978.

1974 Western Australian state election

Elections were held in the state of Western Australia on 30 March 1974 to elect all 51 members to the Legislative Assembly and 15 members to the 30-seat Legislative Council. The one-term Labor government, led by Premier John Tonkin, was defeated by the Liberal Party, led by Opposition Leader Charles Court.

This is a list of members of the Western Australian Legislative Assembly between the 1947 election and the 1950 election, together known as the 19th Parliament.

The Tonkin Ministry was the 25th Ministry of the Government of Western Australia, led by Labor Premier John Tonkin and deputy Herb Graham. It commenced on 3 March 1971, eleven days after the Brand–Nalder Ministry, led by Premier David Brand of the Liberal Party, was defeated at the 1971 election. The ministry was followed by the Court–McPharlin Ministry on 8 April 1974 after the Labor Party lost government at the state election held on 31 March.

The Hawke Ministry was the 22nd Ministry of the Government of Western Australia, led by Labor Premier Albert Hawke and deputy John Tonkin. It commenced on 23 February 1953, nine days after the McLarty–Watts Ministry, led by Premier Ross McLarty of the Liberal Party, was defeated at the 1953 election. The ministry was followed by the Brand–Watts Ministry on 2 April 1959 after the Labor Party lost government at the state election held on 21 March.

The McLarty–Watts Ministry was the 21st Ministry of the Government of Western Australia, led by Liberal Premier Sir Ross McLarty and his deputy, Country Party leader Arthur Watts. It succeeded the Wise Ministry on 1 April 1947, following the defeat of the Labor government at the 1947 election two weeks earlier. It was significant in that it included in Florence Cardell-Oliver not only the oldest person, at age 70, to receive their first appointment to a ministerial post in Western Australia, but also the first female cabinet minister in Australia.

1933 Western Australian state election

Elections were held in the state of Western Australia on 8 April 1933 to elect all 50 members to the Legislative Assembly. The one-term Nationalist-Country coalition government, led by Premier Sir James Mitchell, was defeated by the Labor Party, led by Opposition Leader Philip Collier.

The history of the Australian Labor Party has its origins in the Labour parties founded in the 1890s in the Australian colonies prior to federation. Labor tradition ascribes the founding of Queensland Labour to a meeting of striking pastoral workers under a ghost gum tree in Barcaldine, Queensland in 1891. The Balmain, New South Wales branch of the party claims to be the oldest in Australia. Labour as a parliamentary party dates from 1891 in New South Wales and South Australia, 1893 in Queensland, and later in the other colonies.

Gerald Percy Wild MBE AM was an Australian politician who served as a Liberal Party member of the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia from 1947 to 1965. He was a minister in the governments of Sir Ross McLarty and Sir David Brand, and later served as Agent-General for Western Australia from 1965 to 1971.

Sir Desmond Henry "Des" O'Neil was an Australian politician who was a Liberal Party member of the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia from 1959 to 1980. He was a minister in the governments of Sir David Brand and Sir Charles Court, and served as deputy premier to Court between 1975 and 1980.

Arthur William Bickerton was an Australian politician who was a Labor Party member of the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia from 1958 to 1974, representing the seat of Pilbara. He served as a minister in the government of John Tonkin.

Victor Doney was an Australian politician who was a Country Party member of the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia from 1928 to 1956. He served as a minister in the government of Sir Ross McLarty.

A by-election for the seat of Ascot in the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia was held on 13 November 1971. It was triggered by the death of Merv Toms, the serving Labor member and Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, on 8 October 1971.


  1. Samuel Mitchell – Biographical Register of Members of the Parliament of Western Australia. Retrieved 3 June 2016.
  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 February 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2010.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. David Brand – Australian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
  4. "WA Tourism Awards: Winners Announced". Tourism Western Australia. 16 November 2015. Retrieved 27 April 2017. culminating in the top honour – the Sir David Brand Award for Tourism
Political offices
Preceded by
Albert Hawke
Premier of Western Australia
Succeeded by
John Tonkin
Party political offices
Preceded by
Ross McLarty
Leader of the Liberal Party (Western Australia)
Succeeded by
Charles Court