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Margaret Keitha Findlay

Tasmanian Honour Roll of Women logo
Findlay, Margaret Keitha

Awarded for service to Architecture

Entered on roll: 2011

As an architect, I am interested deeply in the beauty and sound construction of adequate homes, but as a woman architect I urge that the utmost consideration be given to the thousands of women who today, within their homes, walk in a year, scores of unnecessary miles, and make thousands of unnecessary movements in doing their normal household duties. The cumulative amount of wasted work is appalling. (Margaret Findlay, The Mercury, 20 January 1944)

Margaret Keitha Findlay was born in Scottsdale and moved with her family to New Norfolk in the 1930s. On leaving school Margaret was articled to an architect in Hobart, Mr A.T. Johnston.

A year after the completion of her articles, Margaret joined Australian Newsprint Mills (ANM) Pty Ltd as an architectural draughtswoman. Fifteen months later, the architect at ANM left the company and from that date Margaret carried the full architectural responsibility. She personally designed more than 60 residences to suit the requirements of ANM staff in New Norfolk.

Margaret was the first woman in Tasmania to qualify as an associate of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects (RAIA), and was the first registered female architect in Tasmania. In 1944, Margaret became the first female architect employed by the Public Works Department in Tasmania.

By 1945, Margaret was appointed Instructor in Architectural Draftsmanship at the University of Sydney, the only female instructress at the school. In an interview with The Mercury in 1944, Margaret talked of the need for proper town planning. In 1951, she received her Diploma in Town and Country Planning from the University of Sydney.

In an interview with The Mercury in 1945, Margaret stated “never was there such an opportunity for girls to take up architecture.” Throughout her career, Margaret stressed the importance of domestic architecture to women’s health and happiness.

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