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VIPs farewell Australian billionaire

TOPPING OUT CEREMONY
Lang Walker (pictured) was the boss of Walker Corp speaks at the event. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Swift

A former PM and News Corp boss Lachlan Murdoch are among those honouring late Australian property developer and billionaire Lang Walker during a public memorial service.

Mr Walker died in January at his home in Sydney, and was laid to rest at a private family funeral on the Gold Coast.

His family have been overwhelmed by the support and well wishes from the community and wanted to hold a public memorial service so people had an opportunity to celebrate Mr Walker’s life and achievements.

Mr Walker is an accomplished businessman who started the company A & L Walker with his father Alec in the 1970s.

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Former prime minister John Howard, Lachlan Murdoch and wife Sarah are among the hundreds who have gathered to honour his life at Sydney’s Town Hall on Friday.

Lang Walker will be farewelled. Picture Supplied.JPG
Australian billionaire Lang Walker died in January. Picture: Supplied

The company originally specialised in earthmoving, excavation and quarrying before moving into residential property – rebranding to Walker Corporation in 1973.

It later branched into the development of apartments, industrial parks and commercial centres, with some 500 staff around the world.

In 2015, Mr Walker was awarded an Order of Australia for his philanthropy and service to the community.

His generous nature extended to the Walker Family Foundation and its philanthropic partnerships in community projects such as the Powerhouse Museum and the Lang Walker AO Medical Research Building.

LANG WALKER MEMORIAL
Former Prime Minister John Howard pictured at the memorial service for Lang Walker AO at the Sydney Town Hall. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Damian Shaw
LANG WALKER MEMORIAL
Family and friends of Lang Walker at the memorial service for Lang Walker AO at the Sydney Town Hall. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Damian Shaw
LANG WALKER MEMORIAL
Lachlan and Sarah Murdoch pictured at the memorial service for Lang Walker AO at the Sydney Town Hall. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Damian Shaw

After his death, Mr Walker’s family said their hearts were “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,” they said.

“His zest for life and his relentless pursuit of perfection lives on within everyone in the Walker family.”

LANG WALKER MEMORIAL
Memorial service for Lang Walker AO at the Sydney Town Hall. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Damian Shaw
LANG WALKER MEMORIAL
Businessman Lindsay Fox pictured at the memorial service for Lang Walker AO at the Sydney Town Hall. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Damian Shaw

The property tycoon’s health had deteriorated for some time before his death and he had stints in and out of hospital.

Walker Corporation managing director and chief executive David Gallant described Mr Lang as a “visionary” and an “inspirational leader” who was the first to “creatively tackle the challenge of urban transformation”.

“Lang’s vision will remain an enduring force through the Walker DNA and the Walker Way which he actively passed on – it is embedded in our culture and our modus operandi,” he said.

LANG WALKER MEMORIAL
Bagpipers at the memorial service for Lang Walker AO at the Sydney Town Hall. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Damian Shaw

Mr Walker’s wealth was last estimated in The Australian’s Richest 250 list to be worth about $6bn – which made him the nation’s 15th richest person.

His property empire included more than 1000 projects across the nation, such as King St Wharf in the Sydney CBD, the Collins Square transformation in Melbourne and Riverlea in Adelaide.

The organisation later went global with developments in Singapore and Malaysia.

In 2015, Mr Walker was awarded an Order of Australia for his philanthropic efforts and service to the community.

Future SA - Riverlea
Walker Corporation Founder and executive chairman Lang Walker officially opening the Riverlea Estate . Picture: NCA NewsWire/Russell Millard

Mr Walker was a long-time supporter of the St Vincent’s Curran Foundation and the foundation’s neuroscience research at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research.

He was also the benefactor of the Lang and Sue Walker Centre for Hearing Research, the Garvan Institute, as well as a supporter of St Vincent’s Prostate Cancer Centre and the Children’s Cancer Institute Australia.

Mr Walker is survived by his wife Sue and three adult children Blake, Chad and Georgia. Mr Walker had 10 grandchildren.