One of Kwinana’s most prominent female figures, Margaret Feilman has been immortalised in a mural by acclaimed artist Shakey.
The City partnered with the Kwinana Social Club and the Medina Residents Group to celebrate the life of one of Kwinana’s historic figures, Margaret Feilman, with a unique artwork designed specifically for the area and installed on the external wall at the Club on Pace Road, Medina.
At sixteen, Margaret became the state’s first female architectural cadet. But, she soon realised that designing buildings wasn’t enough. Margaret wanted to design a whole town and won a scholarship to study Town Planning in England.
Margaret returned to Australia as the first qualified female town planner in the country. She was asked to design the new town of Kwinana in the early 1950s, that was going to be built close to the new oil refinery. Margaret said that fumes from the refinery would make people sick, but the government did not believe her. When the officials came to see the site, Margaret demonstrated the wind direction blowing across the proposed site by burning tyres on Kwinana Beach and as a consequence the town site was moved to its present location.
Mayor Carol Adams attended the live painting of the mural and was thrilled with the outcome.
“It is wonderful to immortalise such a significant figure of Kwinana history right here at the Kwinana Social Club in Medina, especially as Medina was the first suburb that Ms Feilman planned for.” Mayor Adams said.
“Margaret’s vision of not just creating a town but creating a community was realized and with her aspiration, the community of Kwinana now benefits. She retained the best natural features and designed streets so that families could easily walk to the shops and schools.”
“The mural is made even more special because a WA local self-taught artist, Jacob Butler (Shakey), who’s art career began in Kwinana, painted it.”
The mural art depicts Feilman, a local architect who overcame obstacles to become a pioneer in her field.
Margaret Feilman, as described by the Australian National Trust, “was a trailblazer in her professional life and, coupled with her passion for the environment, the arts and making a
difference in future generations, her contribution to Western Australia has been truly enormous”.
The mural was installed in June. Time-lapse footage of the painting of the mural can be viewed on the City’s Facebook page.