TRIBUTES and condolences continue to flow for billionaire property developer and philanthropist Lang Walker, who built a property empire across Australia including Parramatta Square.
Mr Walker died last week aged 78 at his Woolloomooloo property. City of Parramatta has recognised the contribution and lasting legacy of Lang Walker AO.
Mr Walker co-founded a small firm with his father six decades ago which went on to become Walker Corporation.
As head of Walker Corporation, he helped develop places where others only saw challenges, including Broadway Shopping Centre, Woolloomooloo Wharf, King Street Wharf and the $3B Parramatta Square development which transformed Parramatta CBD.
City of Parramatta Lord Mayor Pierre Esber said: “Lang Walker understood the potential of Parramatta to be a major global city before most others.
“Parramatta Square is one of his many legacies to Parramatta and Western Sydney. This world-class civic and commercial precinct is now home to more than 24,000 workers and is a magnet for government and industry leaders to move their Sydney offices to Parramatta.
“I used to call him ‘Mr Nike’, because he had a way to ‘Just Do It’. That ability has left a lasting imprint on our City’s skyline.
“Our sincere condolences go to his wife Sue and his wider family.”
The Powerhouse Museum is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Trustee and Powerhouse Parramatta Foundation Donor, Mr Lang Walker AO. Mr Walker was appointed to the Powerhouse Trust in November 2020.
Alongside his wife Sue, Mr Walker made a visionary investment of $20M into the Powerhouse to support the education of future generations in Western Sydney through the establishment of the region’s first state cultural institution.
One of his great legacies will be the Lang Walker Family Academy at Powerhouse Parramatta, through providing 60 bed accommodation and access to world-class immersive STEM education experiences for over 10,000 high school students from Western Sydney and regional NSW every year.
As the most significant cultural gift ever made in Western Sydney, this investment is already having an impact across public schools in Blacktown, Campbelltown, Liverpool, Bankstown, Penrith and Parramatta LGAs with the Academy in-schools program providing unprecedented access to industry-leading ideas, experts and technologies from the fields of science, engineering and technology.
Mr Walker’s support of Powerhouse Parramatta will continue to inspire future generations and create pathways for students in areas such as civil engineering, building, science and space technologies.
This pioneering investment sits alongside Mr Walker’s $28M investment into Western Sydney University which includes the Lang Walker AO Medical Research Building.
Powerhouse Trust President Peter Collins AM KC said: “Lang Walker was a giant of Australian industry and there has been no greater supporter of Powerhouse Parramatta than Lang. It was an honor to have him serve on the Powerhouse Trust for the last three years at a critical time for the institution.
No one has given more support to the Powerhouse than Lang Walker and his memory will be preserved in the Lang Walker Family Academy, and by future generations who will benefit from it. We are all shocked by his passing and send our deepest condolences to his family.”
Powerhouse Chief Executive Lisa Havilah said: “The legacy of Lang Walker will be forever embedded within Powerhouse Parramatta. Lang’s vision and ambition for Powerhouse Parramatta and his transformative investment will continue to impact and give opportunity for many generations to come. I feel very fortunate to have worked alongside such an incredible Australian. Mr Walker enabled the Lang Walker Family Academy, creating unprecedented new learning and employment pathways for young people and it will continue in his name.”
NSW Premier Chris Minns said Walker transformed a humble family firm into a company whose name and work was recognised internationally.
“From King Street Wharf to Parramatta Square, his enormous legacy can be seen across NSW,” he said. “Thank you, Lang Walker, for your contribution to our city and our state. Our thoughts are with his loved ones at this time.”