Margaret Feilman

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Margaret Feilman
Margaret Feilman.jpg
Born21 June 1921
Died24 September 2013 (aged 92)
NationalityWestern Australian
PracticeArchitecture, Town Planning

Margaret Anne Feilman OBE (21 June 1921 – 24 September 2013) was Perth's first female town planner, having also practised as an architect and landscape designer. A founding member of the Western Australian Town Planning Institute in 1950, she engaged in substantial public speaking as a means of "educating the public as a whole on the need for better planning".[1]


The daughter of Herbert Bernard and Ethel Anne Feilman (née Turner),[2] Feilman grew up in the Southwest Region of Western Australia. In 1938 she became the first female cadet in the Public Works Department of Western Australia, and completed a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Western Australia in 1943. Studying at Perth Technical College,[2] she passed the Final Examination for Registration as an Architect in 1945. She received a British Council scholarship in 1948.[3] In 1950 she completed her Postgraduate Diploma in Town Planning at the School of Town and Country Planning at the University of Durham, after which she returned to Perth and opened a practice in architecture and town planning. In 1952, for the state Public Works Department, she planned the townsite of Kwinana New Town, to house 25,000 industry employees.[4]

A founding member of the Western Australian branch of the National Trust of Australia[5] in 1959, she later became an inaugural Commissioner on 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. She was also involved in public comment about the various changes in heritage legislation[6]


  1. ^ "Margaret Feilman – WA". Archived from the original on 2013-10-21. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  2. ^ a b Sacks M. A. (ed) The WAY 79 Who is Who: synoptic biographies of Western Australians Crawley Publishers, Western Australia, 1980. ISBN 0-949848-00-X (Monograph on p.119)
  3. ^ "SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS". The West Australian. Perth: National Library of Australia. 7 July 1948. p. 3. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
  4. ^ "First Kwinana Homes Start In January". The West Australian. Perth: National Library of Australia. 19 November 1952. p. 4. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
  5. ^ Sharr, F. A. (1985), "Margaret A. Feilman–Chairman of the Council of the National Trust of Australia (W.A.)", Heritage (Australian Heritage Society), 4 (1): 43, ISSN 0155-2716
  6. ^ Margaret Anne Feilman – speaks out on proposed changes to heritage legislation. The West Australian, 24 Oct. 1986, p. 31a-g


  • Bronwyn Hanna, Australia's Early Women Architects: Milestones and Achievements', in Fabrications, Vol.12, No. 1, June 2002. (Subscriber/purchase access only.)
  • Barry Melotte, 'Landscape, Neighbourhood and Accessibility: The Contribution of Margaret Feilman to Planning and Development in Western Australia', Planning History, Vol.19, No. 2/3, 1997