HerStory

Margaret Anne FEILMAN

Born: 22 June 1921

Died: 24 September 2013

Special Achievements:

First chairwoman of the Western Australia Planning Board. First female to undertake an architectural cadetship in Western Australia's Public Works Department. First female Town Planner.

Successful career as an Architect and Landscape Designer and was an early advocate for identifying and protecting building heritage. She completed a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Western Australia in 1943 and was registered as an Architect in 1945. In 1950 she completed a postgraduate diploma in Town Planning at the University of Durham. Then she returned to Perth and opened her own practice, Margaret A Feilman, Architect and Town Planner. Her planning work for the Kwinana New Town (Western Australia) in 1952, housing 25,000 employees of the Anglo-Iranian/British Petroleum oil refinery, has been widely acclaimed. It was her first major commission and the first application in WA of the "New Town" model, which included public facilities within walking distance of the houses. Margaret became an inaugural Commissioner of the Australian Heritage Commission in 1976, played a role in setting up the register of the National Estate and supported the introduction of heritage conservation studies in Australian universities. In 1976 she established the Feilman Foundation, which has focused on providing grants for charitable purposes in Australia's interests in the environment, children/youth, cultural, education, general community benefit and medical scientific research. She recieved an OBE in 1981 in recognition of her services to architecture and conservation, an honorary doctorate in architecture and conservation, and an honorary doctorate in architecture from the Universtiy of Western Australia in 1989.

Additional Information:

Margaret worked for the Brisbane City Council and the Victorian Department of Works, in its town planning section. She was a founding member of the Western Australian Town Planning Institute in 1950, she was also (in 1950), a founding member of the Western Austalian branch of the National Trust of Australia. Dr. Feilman was also an educator and tireless campaigner, advocating better urban planning in Perth.


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