Hon Albert Jacob BEnvDes M.Arch JP MLA

Hon Albert Jacob BEnvDes M.Arch JP MLA

Former Minister for Environment; Heritage

    Edith Cowan's West Perth home heritage listed

    24/09/2016 7:00 AM
    • The Skinner Gallery also heritage listed for its cultural significance

    A West Perth property at 31 Malcolm Street that was home to Edith Cowan, the first woman member of an Australian parliament, has been listed on the State Heritage Register.


    Heritage Minister Albert Jacob said Edith Cowan was intrinsically linked to the history of Western Australia and the nation.


    "This is an important listing because the house provided Edith Cowan with a central base during the most important period of her work in welfare, education and social justice from 1911 to 1919," Mr Jacob said.


    Edith and James Cowan lived at 31 Malcolm Street intermittently between 1893 and 1919.


    Built in 1893 for the Cowans, Edith Cowan House is a two-storey brick, stone and iron roof Victorian Rustic Gothic style house, and is a remnant of a former streetscape.


    In 1958, the then owners Josiah and Rose Skinner, built three storeys at the rear of the house for an art gallery with exhibition spaces, studios for art classes, rooms for cultural activities and a meeting centre for artists and musical societies.


    The Skinner Gallery was reputed to be the first commercial gallery in Australia and was a major leader in promoting modern Australian art in the late 1950s and 1960s.


    "Edith Cowan House and Skinner Gallery is more than the modest buildings we see," the Minister said.


    "These places offer glimpses into the stories of prominent West Australians and the social, political and artistic development they led in our State's development.


    "Appropriately, Edith Cowan, who was a staunch supporter of State education, is honoured through the naming of Edith Cowan University after her, when it was established in 1991."


    Fact File

    • Edith Cowan was elected to the WA Legislative Assembly in 1921 for the seat of West Perth, following legislation passed in 1920 to allow women to enter parliament
    • For more information on Edith Cowan House and the Skinner Gallery, visit http://www.stateheritage.wa.gov.au

    Minister's office - 6552 5800


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