I was born with a disability that affects my left leg. Looking back, this has influenced many of my life decisions. Following my father’s footsteps I completed a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) at the University of Queensland.
As a result of my undergraduate honours research I was awarded two international scholarships to complete a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) degree in bioengineering at Stathclyde Universtiy in Glasgow, Scotland. My research was focused on the biomechanics of the foot and lower leg.
In 1991 I returned to Australia and was approached by stakeholders in North Queensland to establish a permanent rehabilitation engineering service, combined with education options at the James Cook University. The Cootharinga Society of North Queensland’s (CSNQ) Rehabilitation Technology Service and a distance learning Graduate Diploma in Assistive Technology were the result.
After leaving CSNQ, I continued to work in online learning developments at James Cook University before taking up a Senior Lecturer appointment at the proposed Occupational Therapy program. I served as Deputy Head of the new program and also was Acting Head of the University’s Sports Science Institute for 18 months facilitating the appointment of a permanent Head.
In August 2002, I was appointed Director, Regency Park Rehabilitation Engineering (RPRE) by Novita Children’s Services (then the Crippled Children’s Association of SA). Regency Park as it was known by most in the sector in Australia was the leading rehabilitation engineering centre in Australia. It included clinical, product sales, testing and research services.
I steered RPRE through a turbulent time in Australia’s assistive technology history, preserving its integrity while improving profitability. In 2008 I oversaw changes that lead to the creation within Novita of a new dedicated division of Research and Innovation, combining the expertise in technology research and development with Novita’s substantial expertise and track record in disability and paediatric therapy research.
In November 2009, I resigned from Novita to take up a more independent role in enhancing the understanding of, and development of good policy for the effective use of technologies for independent living.
Tech4Life is the result; providing services to clients including end-users, government, educators, professionals in the sector and the wider community. Further, my links to higher education institutions enable me to pursue my research work and together with senior professional colleagues I’ve prepared a range of resources for government and industry on good AT practice.
A brief summary of my national and international responsibilities:
- Chair of the Standards Australia ME67 Committee
- The Convenor for Working Groups (WG) 1 (Test Methods) and 11 (Seating) for the International Standards Organisation (ISO) TC173 SC1 – Wheelchairs
- Board Member of Motivation Australia Development Organisation
- Chair of National Committee on Rehabilitation Engineering, a learned committee of Engineers Australia
- Chair of the Board – Motivation Australia
Download Lloyd Walker’s June 2014 CV.