Featured Image: Dr Patricia Ellis AM
Occasionally in life one is privileged to meet with contemporary fellow professionals of outstanding merit. Dr Patricia “Trish” Ellis was such a person.
Citation: Patricia Ellis AM University of Melbourne
Dr Brian H. Anderson BVSc, MVSc, MS, MACVSc, Diplomate ACVS Registered Specialist in Equine Surgery
Patricia Ellis graduated with First Class Honours in Veterinary Science from the University of Melbourne in 1968 with the Australian Veterinary Association – Victorian Division Prize for best aggregate score in all years of the course and since then has been a trail blazer in the profession and an inspiration to many of her colleagues.
Since graduation, Patricia’s career has been a fine blend of academic achievement, successful private practice in Australia, Ireland and the Middle East, and a long influential stint of public practice. Patricia graduated at a time when women were a small minority of the veterinary profession, however, she was soon recognised more for her intellectual rigour and comprehensive understanding of veterinary science than for her gender.
Time spent in practice in Ireland and in the United Arab Emirates gave Trish an understanding of the political machinations behind international movement of animals and her keen interest in equine medicine soon saw her applying her skills and scientific knowledge in the area of international movement of horses to ensure that while the horses could move, their diseases did not. Patricia has been heavily involved in the horse industry both as a participant and as an equine veterinarian for many years and has been recognised for her service with numerous awards.
She was recognised by the Wakeful Club in 2004 when she received the Jo Miller Award for outstanding contribution to the equine industry and by Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria as the recipient of their Industry Contribution Award in the 2005/6 season.
Patricia has been a leader in the veterinary profession and a cherished mentor for many veterinarians over the course of her career. Patricia was the first woman president of the Australian Equine Veterinary Association in 1992 and her pioneering work as a woman in a male dominated part of the profession was recognised in 2006 with the award of a Belle Bruce Reid Medal for Outstanding Women Veterinary Science Graduates.
The veterinary profession has recognised her achievements by awarding her an AVA Meritorious Service Award, the AEVA Award for Veterinary Excellence, the Equine Veterinarians Australia Award for Services to the Horse Industry. In 2009 Patricia delivered the Pascoe Oration to the annual Equine Veterinary Conference to a standing ovation.
Patricia’s contribution to the Australian horse industry and the Australian veterinary profession were rewarded in the 2013 Queen’s Birthday Honours with the award of the Order of Australia for significant service to veterinary science, particularly through the development of quarantine and biosecurity protocols in the equine industry.
Dr Ellis has always made herself available to give back to the University, the institution which set her on her professional path. Patricia has served on many working parties, advisory committees and she taught undergraduate veterinarians about the horse industry for many years. In addition, Patricia has served her graduating year well as the long-serving liaison with the faculty, organising reunions and keeping our alumni informed about developments at the University and the faculty.
In summary: a veterinarian of the highest professional integrity, who has used her veterinary training to benefit the wider community as well as the profession, Dr Patricia Ellis is a true role model for all veterinarians and is a worthy recipient of the degree of Doctor of Veterinary Science honoris causa.
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