17 . 04 . 20

In Memoriam: Patricia Kailis


Patricia Kailis

19 August 1933 – 17 April 2020


It is with a heavy heart we inform you of the peaceful passing of our founder Dr Patricia Kailis AM OBE (née Hurse). A remarkable woman, Patricia was the beloved wife to Michael George Kailis AO CBE (deceased) and mother of Maria, George, Amanda and Alex. She was also the co-founder and governing director of the MG Kailis Group and a highly respected doctor well known for her services to medicine, science and the community.

Dr Patricia Kailis was born Patricia Verne Hurse in Castlemaine, Victoria. Her natural curiosity and desire to look after others led her to study medicine at Melbourne University. In 1958, she moved to Western Australia for a job at Royal Perth Hospital. At this time, she met Michael George Kailis CBE and was introduced into the fishing industry in which he worked.

The couple married, and moved to Dongara, Western Australia, in 1961 to establish a crayfish factory. Here, Patricia became the local general practitioner. The couple also established themselves in ship building, the prawning industry in Exmouth, and the pearling industry in Broome.

In 1969, Patricia, Michael, and their four children moved back to Perth. For many years Patricia held honorary positions in neurology and genetics at Royal Perth Hospital. During this time, she introduced a program for predictive testing of Huntington’s disease and was involved in research into motor neuron disease and muscular dystrophy.

She was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, a Member of the Order of Australia and awarded the Centenary Medal for her contributions and service to medicine, science and the community.

Amongst her successes in the medical field, she used her expertise to contain the spread of disease in the family’s pearl farms by insisting on hygienic practices in the processing of oysters. Applying the principles of epidemiology, her measures all but wiped out the disease, enabling the couple to create what is Kailis Jewellery today.

Having established Kailis Jewellery in 1978, Patricia was proud to watch it blossom over more than 40 years to be the iconic Western Australian brand which her family still owns today.

Dr Patricia Kailis was exceptional and her love knew no boundaries. Her legacy will live on at the heart of Kailis Jewellery.

Rest in peace.