• Fran Cleland

Vale: Straight-talking vet was a friend and advisor to many

THOSE of us who were lucky enough to know Dr Patricia Ellis - Trish – are truly saddened to hear that she has died.


She was a trusted veterinarian and friend to so many people in the horse world.


ABOVE: Dr Patricia (Trish) Ellis.

Straight-talking with great talent, a dry sense of humour and an extraordinary knowledge and understanding of horses and the industry, she was apart from her job, kind, and generous.


Although she was so highly placed in her career, she cared very much for the ordinary horse owner, making videos and writing books on horse care, and freely offering advice when asked.


The cherished veterinarian from Yarra Glen, Victoria, was known for her professional integrity and used her training to benefit the wider community as well as the profession.


Dr Ellis graduated in 1968 from the University of Melbourne, a time when women vets were a minority. She did so with First Class Honours and went on to be a trail blazer in her career.


Dr Ellis was the first female president of the Equine Veterinary Association (EVA) in 1992, and the first honorary secretary in 1971.


Her career was a fine blend of academic achievement and successful private practice in Australia, Ireland and the Middle East, with an influential period of public practice. Amongst her many contributions, Dr Ellis pioneered the protocols, safety and biosecurity of international air transport for horses.


Her achievements have been recognised by being awarded an AVA Meritorious Service Award, the AEVA Award for Veterinary Excellence and the EVA Award for Services to the Horse Industry.


In 2009 Dr Ellis delivered the Pascoe Oration to a standing ovation. Distinguished in 2013, she was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia (AM), for significant service to veterinary science.