Chiropractic leader made AM on Australia Day

January 27, 2016

Associate Professor Bruce WalkerMurdoch University academic Associate Professor Bruce Walker has been awarded Membership in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Australia Day honours.

The Head of Chiropractic and Associate Dean in the School of Health Professions has been rewarded for significant service to the chiropractic and osteopathic professions through education and the development of professional organisations.

Professor Walker began his career at Murdoch 10 years ago and has inspired staff, students and the profession as a whole to embrace an evidence based approach to learning, teaching and practice. He has published 66 peer reviewed papers and his work has been cited more than 2500 times.

Professor Walker has also devoted much of his time in the past six years to researching the health and education needs of Aboriginal peoples in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. An outcome of his work has seen advanced planning for a Mobile Health Clinic for remote Aboriginal communities. When fully funded this Murdoch University project will add considerable value to the existing health and health education services available to Aboriginal communities in these remote areas.

“I’m very proud of the award,” said Professor Walker. “It’s a tribute to the chiropractic profession and in particular to those evidence based chiropractors who have fearlessly pursued science and guided the profession in the right direction.

“The award is a result of a team effort and belongs to all the very motivated and talented teams of people who have supported me throughout my career.”

Professor Walker paid particular tribute to his GP wife Dr Alison Hogg, who has sustained and buoyed him continuously throughout his 30 year career, he said.

“Alison’s advice over many years has provided wonderful guidance and influenced my opinion on the profession’s direction. It helped me achieve many goals for the chiropractic profession, including in the tertiary and continuing education areas.”

After training to be a chiro in Melbourne, graduating in 1975, Professor Walker spent 30 years in clinical practice in Melbourne and Townsville, during which time he gained a Master’s degree in Public Health from Monash University and a Doctorate in Public Health from James Cook University.

Along the way he immersed himself in the organisation of his profession, holding pro bono executive board positions with the Australian Chiropractors Association among others. Throughout this time, he has advocated for chiropractic to become part of mainstream allied health medicine.

One of his major achievements was the development in 1990 of the leading vocational college for graduate chiropractors known as the Chiropractic & Osteopathic College of Australasia (COCA).

Today COCA has more than 1000 members nationally and he is a life member.

Professor Walker said that the chiropractic program at Murdoch University is one of the best in the world and is a tribute to the University’s leaders and talented, dedicated staff who have supported and contributed to it.

“I have great confidence in the future of the chiropractic profession as it turns its full focus to the welfare of patients by concentrating on science, research and evidence as its guiding light,” he said.

* Murdoch alumnus Dr Kerry Smith has also been made an AM for significant service to the library and information sectors as an academic and researcher, and to professional organisations.

Dr Smith received a Master of Arts in science and technology policy in 1995 and a PhD in sustainability and technology policy in 2004.

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