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Dr Patricia Kailis, co-founder of Kailis Jewellery and a respected medical specialist, has been laid to rest.
Dr Patricia Kailis, co-founder of Kailis Jewellery and a respected medical specialist, has been laid to rest.

Kailis Jewellery co-founder Patricia Kailis passes away

Dr Patricia Kailis AM OBE, matriarch of the Kailis pearling family, died peacefully at her home in Perth on Friday 17 April. She was 87.

Alongside her husband Michael, Dr Kailis established the first Australian South Sea pearl farm in Broome and opened the West Australian city’s first pearl jewellery store in 1978, showcasing the work of local jewellers and designers.

The Kailis Family together.
The Kailis Family together.

Her son George Kailis, now executive chair of MG Kailis Group, said, “Mum loved pearls long before she was in the pearl business. The whole company was based on Mum’s idea that you shouldn’t have to go to Hong Kong to buy beautiful Australian South Sea pearls – you should be able to buy them in Western Australia, where they are from."

“She was very, very special,” he added.

Kailis' full statement »

The Kailis company began producing in-house jewellery collections in 2005. Today, it is one of Australia’s most well-known pearl jewellery brands and remains a family owned and operated business.

There are four Kailis Jewellery boutiques in Western Australia and the brand is stocked in retailers nationwide, as well as internationally in the UK, Fiji and Papua New Guinea.

While active in the pearl business, Dr Kailis was also a local GP and medical specialist, receiving an OBE for her contribution to the study of genetic diseases in 1979.

She was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1996 for her services to medicine and awarded the Centenary Medal in 2001 for her contributions to medicine and the community.

A memorial to Dr Kailis posted on the Kailis Jewellery website reads, “Dr Patricia Kailis was exceptional and her love knew no boundaries. Her legacy will live on at the heart of Kailis Jewellery.”

A private funeral service was held on Friday 24 April. Dr Kailis is survived by her four children and ten grandchildren.




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