Lang Walker Tribute AO

03 Mar 2024

A legacy of commitment and generosity

Only two weeks before Professor Chris O’Brien passed away in 2009, he crossed paths at a friend’s wedding reception with a man who would become one of the most important figures in the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse story, Lang Walker. 
Chris and Lang spoke that night at length about Chris’s bold idea of a centre of excellence for cancer treatment and research. That conversation sparked a domino effect that saw Lang become a pivotal player in the journey that led to the realisation and building of Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, a place that has made a profound impact on countless patients, families and staff members.

Mr Walker is well known, not only as a respected and successful property developer and entrepreneur, but also as a visionary philanthropist. He was awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2015 for his service to the community. His generosity has impacted not only our hospital but the broader community and health sector across NSW and Australia. Thanks to Lang’s hard work, foresight and negotiating acumen, we were able to save millions of dollars in construction costs and get the building completed in record time. “Lang was absolutely crucial to us getting the building built in the time frame of just two years,” Gail O’Brien says. “We are immensely grateful to have had his wisdom and guidance throughout the process.” 

Lang supported not only the hospital’s construction, but many surgeries, treatments and the care of our patients over the last 10 years. With a generous donation in 2016, he helped us acquire our first da Vinci Xi surgical robot, enabling minimally invasive surgeries. In 2019, the Walker Family Foundation’s generosity and vision established Australia’s first Professorial Chair in Head and Neck Cancer Reconstructive Surgery, and in turn enabled us to build the Integrated Prosthetics and Reconstruction Laboratory, which will be officially opened in the coming months. 

In January 2024, we received the sad news that Lang passed away. The beloved husband, father and grandfather was an extraordinary human being whose generosity, conviction and vision will continue to impact on the lives of thousands of people facing cancer. Chris O’Brien Lifehouse is the physical result of many individuals who gave their time, support, influence, and money to build a dream and make it thrive. Lang Walker AO was one of these extraordinary people. We are profoundly grateful for the role Lang played in bringing Chris’s vision to life, and for the role the Walker family continue to play in the care of our patients and our vision for the future. 

You can read more about Chris O'Brien Lifehouse on our newsletter page by clicking here