The first sod was turned today on the Lang Walker AO Medical Research Building, which will deliver a new state-of-the-art medical research facility to south western Sydney.

The research will have national significance, focusing on five key areas including diabetes, mental health, indigenous health, paediatrics and child wellbeing and addiction medicine.

The $55 million building will be home to the Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research, Macarthur, and the facility developed in partnership with Western Sydney University, South Western Sydney Local Health District and UNSW Sydney – with the support of Walker Corporation.

NSW Premier Chris Minns said that the NSW Government is very proud to partner with research universities and philanthropists in this important addition to medical research in the state.

“There’s absolutely no reason why when the bricks and mortar of this institution have been completed that we can’t be at the cutting edge of making life easier and better and solving some of the diseases that have plagued humankind for forever, literally forever,” Mr Minns said.

This facility will complement the NSW Government’s $632 million redevelopment of Campbelltown Hospital and the broader Campbelltown Health and Education Precinct.

Health Minister Ryan Park said that it will create fantastic opportunities to develop new treatments, therapies and look for innovative methods for treating patients in our healthcare system.

Once completed, researchers and clinicians will have access to the latest research technologies, laboratories and collaboration spaces.

This locally-based expertise will enhance community access to clinical trials, serve local health needs and lead research of national significance and global impact.

“The Macarthur region is home to some of the best and brightest in our state, so this new facility is a welcome addition to the community in Campbelltown,” Member for Campbelltown, Greg Warren said.

Though we lost Lang Walker barely over a week ago, his legacy will live on in this cutting-edge facility, which as Campbelltown’s Mayor George Greiss said, “will go a long way in establishing Campbelltown into a health precinct that is world-class.”

Mr Minns paid tribute to the late founder of Walker Corporation as “a titan of industry in New South Wales, someone with a massive heart, a generous contributor, particularly to medical research.”

“Lang would have been incredibly proud to stand alongside you all today to celebrate the commencement of this important facility,” Walker Corporation’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer David Gallant said.

“I’m sure he’d be wondering why the earthmovers aren’t making noise and continuing on – he wouldn’t have liked to have stopped!”

Western Sydney University Chancellor, Professor Jennifer Westacott AO, acknowledged Mr Walker as one of the most important and influential figures in the university’s growth and its ongoing ability to deliver positive impact in the region.

“Lang’s ability to see the bigger picture combined with his determination to make a difference in real and pragmatic ways has helped to change the trajectory of many lives. His philanthropy has broadened horizons, brought people together and will go on delivering benefits well into the future,” Professor Westacott said.

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