Vale Lang WalkerBY CHLOE WALKER | MONDAY, 29 JAN 2024 12:26PM
Read more: Lang Walker, Walker Corporation, Barney Glover, David Gallant, Walker Family Foundation, Walker Group
Sydney-based property magnate and philanthropist Lang Walker has passed away, aged 78.
Walker, who alongside his father Alec formed the privately-owned property development company Walker Corporation over 50 years ago, has been remembered as a nation-builder with "remarkable" generosity.
In a statement, the Walker family said their hearts are broken by the loss of a great man who "changed the lives of so many people through his visionary projects and philanthropy."
"Lang loved creating incredible places where people can live and work, but he loved his family more than anything else in the world and his generosity and affection had no boundaries," the family said.
"His zest for life and his relentless pursuit of perfection lives on within everyone in the Walker family."
Walker is survived by his wife Sue, his three children, and his 10 grandchildren.
Walker Group managing director and chief executive David Gallant said Walker will be recognised as a great visionary, an inspirational leader, and the first to creatively tackle the challenge of urban transformation.
"Together with his team, he has delivered exceptional placemaking concepts that can be seen in iconic developments such as Broadway Shopping Centre, Rhodes Peninsula, Woolloomooloo Wharf, King Street Wharf, Hope Island Resort, Collins Square and Parramatta Square," Gallant said.
He added that over the past decade, Walker worked to ensure the company's $36 billion project pipeline will be in good hands, with a smooth transition to his executive team having been implemented early last year.
"Extensive provisions and arrangements are now firmly in place to clearly define and govern the Group's future," Gallant said.
Walker's beloved Kokomo Private Island in Fiji, which he purchased in 2011 and opened to the public in 2017, will continue to be operated by the Walker management team.
The luxury superyacht series created by Walker, worth about $35 million, is also named 'Kokomo'.
Outside of property and luxury island developments, Walker was a well-known philanthropist, having donated millions of dollars to various community projects via the Walker Family Foundation.
Some of the ventures include investing $20 million in the Powerhouse Museum at Parramatta, $26 million in the new Lang Walker AO Medical Research Building in Macarthur (in partnership with Western Sydney University) and supporting Chris O'Brien Lifehouse.
Walker was also a longstanding supporter of Next Science, a listed medical device company that works to prevent surgical and wound infections.
Western Sydney University vice-chancellor and president professor Barney Glover said Walker was an outstanding Australian who made a generational difference in helping shape Western Sydney.
"Few have done more to shape our cities, enliven our nation's civic spaces, and enrich individual's lives as Lang Walker," Glover said.
At the time of passing, Walker was the 16th richest person in Australia, with an estimated net worth of $5.81 billion.
"We are grateful and honoured to have worked for and with Lang," Walker Corporation said.
"It has been a privilege."