For Dr Bill Walter, his appointment as Professor of Orthopaedics and Traumatic Surgery at the University of Sydney sees him follow in the footsteps of his mentor. As a medical student, Dr Walter was taken under the wing of Dr Tom Taylor, a pioneer in orthopaedics in Australia and the establishing chair of the position. Now, Dr Walter is ready to make his own mark in this role, and he’s raring to get started.

"Here at Royal North Shore Hospital, we have world class orthopaedic surgeons who improve and change the lives of patients every single day, and in the Kolling Institute right next door, we have a world class research facility with three orthopaedic research labs," he said.

As well as the clinical work, teaching and administration aspects of the role, research appears to be a keen focus for Dr Walter.

"I’ve always been very interested in research – I’m a scientist at heart and science is about discovering the truth," he said.

"I’m really excited about developing the biomechanics research here. I think in this technological era, we’re rapidly accelerating in capabilities… and that has implications. There are opportunities to make healthcare cheaper and better - and I’d like to see us make a greater mark on the world with our work.

"I see myself making vital connections between the hospital and the university; bridging the gap between the engineers who are dealing with new technology in their laboratories at the university, and the clinicians who are delivering the care at Royal North Shore."

With his workload increasing after his appointment, Dr Walter, a self-confessed outdoors and sports lover, already has an outlet lined up.

"I’ve always enjoyed skiing, but at the moment I’m working on surfing," he said. "I’ve got three boys and they’re always interested in surfing and skiing, so we try to get in a few adventures."