The appointment of Mr Walter Kmet is another significant milestone in MQ Health’s journey towards becoming a world-leading centre of healing, learning and discovery.
Walter brings to Macquarie a passion for improving lives through world-class healthcare, having spent over 25 years working in human services and health care management in Australia, South East Asia and the UK. Walter’s most recent role leading the Western Sydney Primary Health Network saw him at the forefront of regional and national healthcare challenges.
Walter was drawn to health very early on in his career. As an accounting graduate, he eschewed more glamorous jobs in the city-based firms in favour of a role at a private hospital in south-west Sydney.
“Those early days in finance and accounting at the hospital level were tough,” Walter recalls. “I was at the frontline, while many of my peers were enjoying life at the big firms.
“However, the experience was invaluable at a time when private hospitals in Australia were moving from a cottage industry to significant service provider. Now private hospitals are doing the majority of surgery across the country.”
Walter says his career choices have always been made with ‘making a difference’ in mind. The role at MQ Health – with its focus on integrating clinical care, teaching and research – presented Walter with a unique opportunity to influence the future of healthcare.
“It’s a bold statement of intent to develop a university health campus that integrates the three foundations of high-performing health systems,” Walter notes. “It creates enormous opportunities and I believe MQ Health is well-placed to make a big difference.”
With last year’s integration of MUH and Macquarie University Clinical Associates into a single MQ Health entity, Walter says he is looking forward to working alongside Deputy Vice-Chancellor Medicine and Health, Professor Patrick McNeil, and all the dedicated MQ Health staff who make it their mission to “Heal. Learn. Discover.”
“My previous health experience is of course beneficial but health is about relationships with patients and those that serve them,” says Walter. “High on my list of priorities in the first 100 days is meeting MQ Health people and patients, understanding their aspirations, and applying myself to be able to support them effectively.”
Walter will be uniquely equipped to manage the dynamics of his new team, being a qualified Level 1 football referee.
“I refereed premier league matches in ACT and the NPL in NSW in years gone by, and I still try to get around the local parks on a Saturday afternoon when I can,” he says. “With Macquarie being close to where I live, I’m keen to start cycling to work on some days, especially now that my children are at an age where I’m no longer a taxi service! Macquarie is a great campus to support a healthy lifestyle.”