People Australia

  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites

Browse Lists:

Cultural Advice

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Australian National University.

Older articles are being reviewed with a view to bringing them into line with contemporary values but the original text will remain available for historical context.

Paulus Johannus Brandt (1854–1934)

This article was published:

Paulus Johannus Brandt (1854-1934) pastrycook and trade union leader 

Birth: 31 December 1854 in Sydney, son of Paulus Johannus Brandt (1826-1854), seaman, born in Amsterdam, Holland, and Sarah, née Townley, born in Liverpool, Lancashire, England. Unmarried. Death: 15 April 1934 in Melbourne. Religion: Baptised Anglican, later Methodist. 

  • After the death of his father in Sydney, his mother married William Robert Barnes, a saddler, in 1855 in Wellington New Zealand.
  • Young Paulus was apprenticed to the pastrycook trade when aged 15. Joined New Zealand Order of Rechabites and Mutual Improvement Society of the Methodist Church. Prominence in Wellington temperance circles led to appointment as Grand Assistant Secretary of Independent Order of Good Templars, NZ.
  • Moved to Australia where helped form Pastrycook and Biscuit Employees’ Union; successfully campaigned for implementation of Factory Act clause for Bakers Holiday in Victoria. Union representative on Wages Board. Active with Melbourne Trades Hall Council where became notable identity.
  • Active with Australian Labor Party, Richmond, and student of Australian preferential voting system.
  • Organised his own tombstone inscribed: ‘In memory of Paulus Johannus Brandt, of the Trades Hall. Author of the group seats, one ballot majority vote election’.

Labor Call, 9 June 1927, 19 April 1934; Worker 12 July 1906; AW, 11 July 1928.

Citation details

'Brandt, Paulus Johannus (1854–1934)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 21 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


31 December, 1854
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


15 April, 1934 (aged 79)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

Key Organisations
Political Activism