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Members’ biographical register

Hon William Gordon Brookman

Date: 8 August 1859
Place: Prospect, South Australia, Australia
Third son of Benjamin, Government stamp printer, and Jane Wilson
Marriage and Family
Married (?) Anne Kinder (nee Flynn), widow with four children (daughter of a Boulder hotelkeeper)
Date: 5 January 1910
Place: Prospect, South Australia, Australia
Not stated
Educated Whinham College, Adelaide, South Australia
Employment History
1875–1880 public servant, then joined elder brother (Sir George) in general merchant and agency business
By 1889 principal of Chance & Co, jam and pickle manufacturers, failed 1890
1892 undischarged bankrupt
1893 with brother George and others in mining syndicate
Took up 19 leases south of Kalgoorlie
Floated three companies in Australia, others in London
1894 obtained control of some 800 hectares of mining leases
1895 in Adelaide made settlement in full in discharge of his bankruptcy, then sailed for London
Local Government Service
1900–1901 Mayor of Perth
Twice petitioned to displace Alexander Forrest, Mayor of Perth, and agreed to nominate when he vacated the post
Failure of last major venture to smelt ores at South Fremantle made him ineligible to hold office
Date Elected
29 August 1900
Inaugural Speech
No inaugural speech given
Inaugural Video
Search for speeches by William Brookman
Year Retired/Resigned
Parliamentary Service
  • MLC Metropolitan–Suburban Province 29 August 1900–15 December 1903 (seat declared vacant through non-attendance)
Director of some thirty mining companies
Opulent style of living, reputedly a millionaire
Returned Perth 31 December 1896
1900 to Paris Exposition
Heavy financial losses in London
1901 retired to Mandurah
Sold assets to meet his debts, wife deserted him
Made last appearance in Legislative Council 29 September 1903
1904 departed Western Australia, travelled in eastern states and New Zealand, settled in Adelaide
D Black and G Bolton, eds, Biographical register of members of the Parliament of Western Australia: volume two 1930-2010, Western Australian Parliamentary History Project, Perth, WA, 2011, p. 37.
Further Information
V Courtney, All I may tell: a journalist's story, Shakespeare Head Press, Sydney, 1956, p. 30.
FK Crowley, Australia's western third: a history of Western Australia from the first settlements to modern times, Macmillan, London, 1960, pp. 122, 146.
R Erickson, ed, Dictionary of Western Australians, 1829-1914. Volume 5. The golden years, 1889-1914, University of Western Australia, Nedlands, WA, 1986.
R. O. Giles, 'Brookman, William Gordon (1859–1910)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1979, accessed online 17 December 2015.
CT Stannage, The people of Perth: a social history of Western Australia's capital city, Perth City Council, Perth, 1979, p. 214–15.
Twentieth Century Impressions of Western Australia, PWH Thiel, Perth, 1901, p. 23, 325–26, p. 412–413.