Phillip Walker was born and went to school in Sydney. He is an alumnus of the University of Sydney and completed surgical training through the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney. In 1992, after completing a vascular surgery fellowship at Stanford University, USA, he joined the University of Queensland, Faculty of Medicine, Discipline of Surgery, based at Royal Brisbane Hospital. He quickly became a valued member of the Discipline, enhancing his clinical and academic reputation in the vascular surgery in Queensland and Australia. He was an integral part of the design as the Faculty of Medicine moved to a post-graduate course in 2020. He had a commitment to excellence in teaching, research and clinical surgery. He had significant involvement with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, the Australia and New Zealand Vascular Surgery Society and International Vascular Surgery Associations. He became the Chairman of the Vascular Surgery Unit at the Royal Brisbane Hospital and in 2011 he became a full Professor and the head of the Faculty of Medicine, Discipline of Surgery. He then worked tirelessly being involved with curriculum design and the structure of the Discipline of Surgery.
His commitment to research began whilst in Sydney and was heightened whilst working at Stanford. He felt very strongly there was more to being a good doctor than ones knowledge and more to being a good surgeon than technical ability. He brought this philosophy with him when he came to Brisbane and he led vascular surgery research in Brisbane and Queensland. He was a mentor to many young medical students and doctors who had surgical aspirations. He supervised or was co-supervisor for 30 students and doctors who enrolled in honours or higher degrees such as MPhil and PhD. He understood that students and junior doctors undertaking research needed support both from an advisory perspective and financially. Professor Phillip Walker’s passion to assist and support aspiring surgeons continues through the Professor Phillip Walker Research Scholarship.