Kwinana visionary farewelled

Town planner Margaret Feilman with the former WA Cabinet.
Town planner Margaret Feilman with the former WA Cabinet.

Ms Feilman leaves behind an historic legacy across Perth, but particularly in the City of Kwinana, which was her brainchild in the 1950s.

At the age of just 32, Ms Feilman designed Kwinana’s first streets, parks and layout. In 1952, her clear understandings of the area’s environment and heritage laid the foundations for the now booming city.

Ms Feilman wanted to plan a town with urban living space, free from traffic in residential streets, an accessible natural environment and freedom from pollution from its industrial strip.

Medina Residents Group member Mandy Grubb said Ms Feilman was always very passionate towards Kwinana’s people and the environment.

‘I first met Margaret in 2001 when she invited me to her home in West Perth to help provide some background into Kwinana’s history for a documentary I was putting together,’ she said.

‘I could tell straight away that she was a very intelligent woman who knew a lot about town planning and was passionate about the City of Kwinana.

‘I think she was so passionate about Kwinana because it was her first employment as a town planner, so she had a strong connection with the area. She always said that Kwinana’s wildflowers were the best in the South-West so I think that made her feel at home because she grew up in Jarrahdale, surrounded by its natural environment.’

Ms Feilman is also responsible for the City’s name, after spotting a steamer washed up on the beach just north of Rockingham called Kwinana, just after the World War II.

Ms Feilman was a founding member of the WA Town Planning Institute in 1950 and of the WA branch of the National Trust of Australia.

A memorial service for Ms Feilman is on Saturday, October 26, at 10am. The service will be held at Perth College, 31 Lawley Crescent, Mt Lawley.