31. Sir David Brand (1912–1979) Premier of Western Australia
Sir David Brand was born in Dongara to a farming family. He left school at age 14 to help the family run the farm. Following the outbreak of World War 2, Brand enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force in 1939, fighting in North Africa. When he was seriously wounded in 1941 he returned to Australia for further treatment. He was discharged as medically unfit in 1942.
In 1945, Brand became the first member of the newly-formed Liberal Party to be elected to an Australian Parliament and served as a Member of the Legislative Assembly from 1945-1975. He was the 19th and longest serving Premier of Western Australia, serving four terms from the 1959-1971 elections.
Brand presided over one of the most prosperous periods of development in Western Australia’s history, governing during the mining-pastoral boom of the 1960s. He oversaw the expansion of mining in the Pilbara and the development of a major iron export industry, the establishment of a refinery at the new Kwinana industrial area and funding for the Ord River dam in the Kimberley region.
Brand resigned as Liberal Party Leader in 1973 and retired from politics in 1975, four years before his passing. In 1984 the Federal Division of Brand was named in his honour, as well as Brand Highway, the Sir David Brand Primary School in Coolbinia and the Sir David Brand Award and Medal for Tourism.