In Memory of Dr. Patricia Kailis
Written by her son, Alex Kailis
Patricia was well known in the WA community and seafood industry as the co-founder of the MG Kailis Group and leader in the development of lobster, pearl oyster and prawn fisheries. Patricia had a profound influence on the Dongara – Port Denison lobster fishing community, particularly in the industry’s formative era of the early 1960s. In addition to being kept busy stitching up many fishermen by virtue of being the town’s first resident doctor and living only a short distance from the Dongara Hotel, Patricia’s contribution goes back to an era when the industry was establishing itself and modernising. This included keeping minutes of the first formal meeting of fishermen to deal with the emerging regulation at the time, a group that would go on to become the Dongara Professional Fishermen’s Association.
Patricia’s significant and ongoing contribution to the state’s lobster industry, together with her husband Michael, spanned many decades until the MG Kailis company exited its lobster processing operations in Western Australia in 2004, but continued at a national level with the development of the live lobster catching and processing sector in North Queensland. Patricia is acknowledged for her valuable contribution to both the Port Denison fishing community and the Australian lobster industry as a whole.