• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: IMP0040

Macknight, Ella Annie Noble

(1904 – 1997)
  • Nationality Australian
  • Born 7 August, 1904, Urana New South Wales Australia
  • Died 1 April, 1997, MalvernMalvern Victoria Australia
  • Occupation Aviator, Golfer, Gynaecologist, Hockey player, Obstetrician


Ella Macknight was an obstetrician and gynaecologist who worked at the Queen Victoria Hospital, Melbourne. She was appointed as a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire on 1 January 1969 for services to medicine. She was also a talented hockey player, winning University Blues and playing in the Victorian team when she was at the University of Melbourne.


Ella Macknight, daughter of Conway Montgomery Macknight and Eliza Jane Simpson, was educated at home by governesses and later attended Toorak College. She gained her MB BS in 1928 from the University of Melbourne. After qualifying as an obstetrician and gynaecologist, (MD, Melb.1931, DGO Melb 1936), she was associated with the Queen Victoria Hospital from 1935-1977. Her appointments included honorary obstetrician and gynaecologist from 1935-1964; vice-president of the Committee of Management for 1963-1971 and president from 1971-1977. She was president of the Council of the Royal College of Gynaecologists from 1970-1972 and served as chairmen of the Blood Transfusion Committee, Victorian Division of the Red Cross Society from 1964-1970 and a member of the Executive of the Victorian Division during the same period.

Ella Macknight had a well developed adventurous streak. In 1929, she was persuaded by her cousin to learn how to fly. She got her pilot’s ticket and, in 1930, was one of six women pilots in Victoria who provided an escort for Amy Johnson from Laverton to Moonee Valley, where they landed on the race track.

Ella Macknight was appointed as a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to medicine on 1 January 1969.

She died on 1 April 1997 in Malvern at the age of 92.



  • 1978 - 1978

    Fellow of the Australian College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

  • 1972 - 1972

    Honorary Doctor of Medicine, Monash University, Victoria

  • 1951 - 1951

    Member of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (MRCOG)

  • 1958 - 1958

    Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (FRCOG)

  • 1973 - 1973

    Fellowship in Australia in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (FAGO)

  • 1976 - 1976

    Fellow of the Australian Medical Association (FAMA)

Published resources

  • Edited Book
    • Who's Who of Australian Women, Lofthouse, Andrea, 1982
  • Book Section
    • Macknight, Dame Ella Annie Noble, DBE, 1996
  • Book
    • 150 years, 150 stories: brief biographies of one hundred and fifty remarkable people associated with the University of Melbourne, Flesch, Juliet and McPhee, Peter, 2003
    • The Ties that Bind: A History of Sport at the University of Melbourne, Senyard, June, 2004
  • Site Exhibition
  • Resource

Archival resources

  • National Library of Australia
    • [Biographical cuttings on Dame Ella Macknight, former gynaecologist, containing one or more cuttings from newspapers or journals]

Related entries

  • Related Organisations
    • Australian Red Cross Blood Service
  • Membership
    • Melbourne University Sport