Monash gets new head
University Malaysia recently welcomed Professor Andrew Walker as its president and pro vice-chancellor (interim).
An anthropologist specialising in the cultures of Southeast Asia, moving to Monash Malaysia is an opportunity for Walker to combine his two passions — Southeast Asia and education leadership.
Over the past 25 years, he has been a regular visitor to the region, conducting research on cross-border trade, environmental management and rural development.
Before his appointment, Walker was the Monash Malaysia’s vice-president (academic) since November last year.
He was attached to the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra for more than 20 years.
Walker has a strong interest in higher education leadership. He has served as a member of the Executive Committee of the College of Asia and the Pacific at the ANU (2009-2014) as well as Deputy Chair of the ANU University Education Committee (2013-2014), pursuing a wide range of education reforms.
He has also worked in Australian government agencies, at both Commonwealth and State levels.
With a focus on educational innovation, Walker has been exploring how new technology, and new forms of media, can transform the ways academics share knowledge and promote learning.
He is also committed to the importance of learning outside the classroom. Over the last two years, he has led study tours to Myanmar, providing undergraduates with first-hand experience of the country’s rapid social, economic and political transformation.
During the most recent study tour, students’ experiences ranged from planting rice with farmers to discussions on national development challenges with the Myanmar Minister of Agriculture.
Walker graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) and later pursued a PhD at the ANU.
He enjoys photography, music and reading.
An author of three books, he is writing a book about a rebellion that took place in the borderlands of Burma and Siam in the early 19th century.