Vale longtime member, Mal Parr

Published: Wednesday 28 February 2018

A long-time member of the association, Mal Parr, passed away on the 14th January 2018 in the Falkland Islands.

Mal and his wife Julie were on an expedition to the Antarctic with Jeff and Lorraine Phillips and friends when he suffered a heart attack on West Island.

Mal joined the associaton when it was previously known as CEFPI in 2004, and was a frequent attendee at West Australian Chapter events and Regional Conferences.

Many members will know Mal from these occasions and also from his involvement with a range of government agencies throughout Australia.

In 1972 Mal joined the newly formed buildings branch of the Western Australian Education Department and continued to serve in various capacities including as manager of capital programmes and director of strategic asset planning until his retirement in March 2017. 

During Mal’s time at the Education Department he was proud to have served eleven directors general and oversee many significant changes in the design and construction of Western Australian schools.

He really enjoyed “the business of building schools” and was particularly supportive of the belief that the quality of the built learning environment had an impact on the learner.

He was very keen to learn about new research and findings that supported innovation in planning and designing schools, and for this many educators and students in Western Australia have been left a great legacy.

A funeral service was held for Mal on Monday 5th February in Perth and the many who came to pay their respects heard of a wonderful man, dearly loved by his family, a cricketer remembered fondly by team mates and a highly respected colleague and friend to all who knew him.

Mal is survived by his wife Julie, son David, daughter Kate and four grandchildren.

I was fortunate to have worked for many years in Central Office with Mal planning new schools in Western Australia and spent many hours with him watching cricket.

He was a great friend and his company was enjoyed by all. He will be sadly missed.

Jeff Phillips