The National Trust

Gallop House Composer in Residence

The National Trust of Western Australia, through the vision and generosity of the Feilman Foundation and a partnership with the Peggy Glanville-Hicks Composers’ Trust has established a composer in residence program at Gallop House. The Australia Council for the Arts, APRA, the Bundanon Trust and the Commonwealth Office for the Arts have made generous contributions to make this vision a reality.

Nationally recognised for accomplishments in their professional pursuits, Western Australian sisters Margaret and Patricia Feilman contributed generously to conservation and the environment over their lifetimes. Together with their mother Ethel, the Feilman women established The Feilman Foundation as a way to donate to valued charitable causes. The Feilman Foundation received the estates of Margaret and Patricia and is now managed by a small group of Trustees who follow the Feilmans’ clear objective that donated funds ‘make a difference’. The transformation of Gallop House into a residence to support the creation of new music was made possible by the generosity of the Feilman Foundation. This is a legacy of the Feilman sisters which will make an enduring difference to the community.

The expansive views from Gallop House are a reminder of the changing and vital role Derbarl Yerrigan/Swan River has played in the landscape known as Nanulgarup, named Dalkeith Farm in 1831 by Captain Adam Armstrong. The riverscape’s changing moods now inspire and sustain creative practices through the Composer in Residence Program.

Captain Adam Armstrong and his sons took up Swan Location 85, 320 acres of land on a peninsula on the northern side of Melville Waters on the Swan River. He called it Dalkeith Farm after his birthplace in Scotland. The riverside suburb of Dalkeith derives its name from the estate. Armstrong established a farm including a five acre garden next to the five room limestone cottage he built. Grapes, figs and a variety of vegetables were planted. Thirty-five acres were also fenced, probably for livestock including goats.

In 1834 his eldest son was appointed as the colony’s first ‘native interpreter’ reflecting his expertise with the Noongar language and relationship with the local people. Financial difficulties forced Armstrong to sell the estate for 250 pounds in 1839.

It was leased by James Gallop l who eventually bought it in two lots – the cottage and 65 acres in 1847 and the balance of the 320 acres in the mid 1860s. Originally an indentured labourer, James Gallop l farmed the land extending production and the variety of fruit and vegetables – plantains, grapes, quinces, apples, figs, mulberries, peaches, pomegranates, black and white currents, water and rock melon and even sugarcane. His enterprise flourished thanks to an influx of convicts and an increase in Perth’s population.

Gallop l was one of few in the area who had Aboriginal people working with him. One of their tasks was to shoot the tiny but troublesome silver-eyes that attacked the luscious grapes and other fruit. More than 4,500 were shot in one year alone.

The house that stands today replaced the cottage in the 1870s and was home to James Gallop ll and his wife. Lots began to be sold off in the 1890s. Rosalind Fox, the wife of Gallop’s head gardener, was brutally murdered nearby in 1899. The map of the crime scene is now a valuable document giving evidence of the location of various buildings and other structures. The case remains unsolved.

By 1911 the place had fallen into disrepair and the government bought the remaining lots and installed a caretaker. It was lived in over the next decades but deteriorated and fortunately was saved from demolition by the Royal Western Australian Historical Society in the late 1950s. A 21 year lease was signed and Leslie and Bill Anderson moved in, undertaking restoration works in the 1960s.

The National Trust took over its management in 2009. In 2015, archaeology students from UWA discovered the foundations of a stone building, remnants of a chimney and more than 6,000 artefacts during a field school. Their research and findings have informed conservation, interpretation and landscaping works associated with the conservation of the place for the composer in residence program. Gallop House is one of a number of adaptive reuse projects the National Trust has undertaken over the past decade. The reuse of heritage places ensures their significant values continue to have a place within the community.

Gallop House is a finalist in the 2017 WA Heritage Awards in the Conservation and Adaptive Reuse category. Click here to read more.

Images courtesy: Freshwater Museum, State Library of Western Australia, The Battye Library, State Records Office, City of Nedlands, West Australian Newspapers Limited, Perth Sailing photography. Oral histories courtesy Freshwater Museum and Audrey Long.

West Australian Ballet

Education and Access Program

The Feilman Foundation believes that the arts play an important role in our community, and understands that certain groups in our community are less able to access cultural events. To help bridge this gap, we are proud to support West Australian Ballet’s Schools Access programme to enable children from economically disadvantaged schools to experience ballet, many for the first time.

Attending your first ballet performance as a child can be both exciting and intimidating, so West Australian Ballet works with teachers and students to make sure that they know what to expect when they arrive at the theatre, explain the story of the ballet, show the costumes that dancers will wear, and answer questions that children often have, like “Why don’t they say anything?”.

By providing teaching resources, transportation, tickets and support from the West Australian Ballet Education team, we aim to foster a situation where there are no barriers to attendance at the ballet, and that the door is opened to a new world of artistry, creativity and the magic of theatre for our children and their teachers.

The Feilman Foundation is proud to support West Australian Ballet and its Schools Access initiative, and in doing so, honour the legacy of the late Ethel Feilman and her daughters Margaret and Patricia Feilman.

Black Swan State Theatre Company

Shadowboxing Schools and Regional Communities Project

Black Swan State Theatre Company is committed to delivering engaging and versatile theatre productions to schools and community groups as part of our Education and Community Access program.

In 2015, with the generous support of the Feilman Foundation, we expanded our reach with Shadowboxing – a unique flat pack theatre experience!

The play Shadowboxing challenges the notion of identity, friendship and the balance of truth and make-believe. It explores the stories we tell, lies, honesty and dishonesty. What happens when we define ourselves by the opinions of others, rather than who we really are? In creating a persona, how long until the real you disappears into the myth?

The performance is designed to have relevance to a wide range of community groups and is aligned with current social issues and the current Drama, English, Literature, ESL and Society and Environment curriculum.

Following its successful launch and first performances in June 2015, Shadowboxing has completed extensive metro touring of schools in Perth as well as a week of regional touring to schools and community centres in Denham, Carnarvon, Port Hedland and Karratha.

St Bartholomew’s House

The Kensington Street Program

St Bartholomew’s house provides supported accommodation for those at risk of, and those currently experiencing, homelessness.

The organisation has recently opened the first service in Western Australia dedicated to accommodating older women and supporting them to get back on their feet. This was in response to the growing trend of older women finding themselves in housing and financial stress later in life, an issue not just present in Perth but seen across Australia. The Kensington Street Program works on a person-centred model and staff based at the service to facilitate the women’s journey back to independence. The Feilman Foundation has assisted the program to extend their support services with the intention of creating better outcomes. An element of the funding will also be used to assist individuals overcome financial or personal barriers which support them to achieve independence. St Bart’s will be looking to track the outcomes of the project once it gets fully underway.

Madjitil Moorna

Madjitil Moorna is a unique community choir, singing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island songs, led by indigenous performers.

Formed in 2006, the choir performs frequently across the Perth metropolitan area and regionally across Western Australia. People from all backgrounds are invited to join – singing, learning, healing – bringing cultures together.

There is increased interest in Aboriginal languages and culture across Australia and the new National Schools Curriculum includes the learning of Aboriginal languages in all schools. Madjitil Moorna is in the unique position of having young Noongar performers, strong in their culture, ready to pass on songs in language. Teachers want to be guided in the early stages of adopting new songs and the Noongar Songs in Schools Project addresses this need.

Madjitil Moorna Inc is extremely grateful to the Feilman Foundation for timely funding support to get this project off the ground.

West Australian Symphony Orchestra

Crescendo, El Sistema-Inspired Music Education Program

“Music has to be recognised as an agent of social development….it has the ability to ignite an entire community, and to express sublime feelings.” Jose Antonio Abreu, Founder, El Sistema Venezuela

In a recent survey completed by teachers at participating schools at the end of 2015, 100% of respondents felt that the West Australian Symphony Orchestra’s Crescendo Program was relevant to their students’ music education. They felt the words ‘happy’, ‘engaged’ and ‘supported’ were most relevant to their students’ response to Crescendo. Respondents felt their students had learned to have fun with music, to listen and to be confident. They also felt there are specific students who particularly benefit from participation in this free music education program.

“This program complements the Arts Curriculum and the literacy, numeracy and social skill development priorities of the school. The program itself is engaging for the children, relevant, provides extension and offers the opportunity to tap into the yet unknown potential of the children. We are extremely grateful for this program.” Teacher, North Parmelia Primary School.

In Term 4 2014, WASO launched its long-term El Sistema-inspired Music Education Program in three Kwinana schools. WASO’s Crescendo program is modelled on the internationally acclaimed and highly successful El Sistema program which started in Venezuela in 1975 and seeks to empower children from disadvantaged backgrounds through classical music, using it as a tool to help them reach their full potential and learn life values. In 2015, 174 children participated in Crescendo across the three schools.

Currently Pre-primary, Year 1 and Year 2 students at Medina Primary School and North Parmelia Primary School receive vocal lessons once a week using movement, games, songs and percussion instruments. Each year we will add the new Pre-Primary students to the program, until all students in Years Pre-Primary to 6 in these schools are participating in the program. In Pre-Primary and Year 1, the focus is on vocal lessons to encourage the children to use their built-in instrument and feel encouraged to “give it a go”. Vocal lessons have also proven to be a great foundation for future skill-based learning. From Year 2, students will be introduced to string instruments.

The program also aims to connect students and the community to classical music experiences to which they may not otherwise have access. At no cost to the families or schools, students attend WASO’s full orchestra primary school concert at the Perth Concert Hall, and a concert by the Education Chamber Orchestra (EChO) in Kwinana. Both concerts include opportunities for students and the community to meet WASO musicians and have-a-go on student-sized instruments.

The Sistema model is built on the core values of Excellence, Ambition, Intensity, Achievement, Inclusion and the development of joyful, responsible contributing citizens. WASO will incorporate these values into its program through its Teaching Artists, peer-to-peer performances and by celebrating the successes of students throughout the program.

To find out more about Crescendo, WASO’s El Sistema-inspired program, please contact Cassandra Lake, Executive Manager, Community Engagement on or visit

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